Serving A 7-Yr Jail Term, This Man Is Helping UPSC Aspirants
27-year-old rape convict, Vikram Singh Khimta in Shimla’s Model Central jail Kanda has compiled a monthly magazine ‘Competition Companion’ for UPSC aspirants. He has completed his masters in English and geography from Himachal Pradesh University and was working as a teacher in a private school. In September 2016, Khimta was sentenced to jail under section 376 (rape) of Indian penal code, reported Aaj Tak.
“I am bringing out this periodical for those preparing for state competitions, including civil services. I want to compete for civil services in the state and Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). This is helping me in my preparation also,” said Khimta to The Statesman. His book will be going for the print later this week with the help of the jail authorities.
Khimta is also a Radio Jockey
In Model Central Jail Kanda there is a Radio launched by the jail called Radio Kara Junction. Khimta along with four other inmates is one of the radio jockeys there. This radio provides convicts with regional news and spiritual knowledge.
“I know I will be acquitted and for that, I am ready to fight it out till the Supreme Court. In case I am not, even then, I will keep engaging myself in positive activities. I know it is just a phase and will be over,” he said to The Statesman.
Himachal Pradesh Jail Reforms
Himachal Pradesh government is conducting a lot of jail reform activities, to improve the condition of jails. Himachal Pradesh provides facilities like video conferencing to the prisoners called as ‘Jail Vatra’. The motto of the initiative is that families of prisoners don’t necessarily need to come to the jail to see the prisoners but can do so even by video calling. It is first of its kind in Indian prisons. It also connects prisoners to families across borders.
“In the past one-and-a-half years, about 1,100 video-conferencing requests were received, of which 55 were from Britain and 22 from Finland, besides requests from several other countries (since many of the prisoners are foreigners),” told Additional Director General of Police (Prisons) SR Mardi to IANS.” It has ‘Har Hath Ko Kaam’ scheme which ensures that prisoners earn. In the first year of the scheme prisoners collectively earned around Rs.1 crore.
Jail reforms committee
Indian Express reported that the Supreme Court had formed a committee to look into jail reforms. It is a three-member committee headed by former Judge Amitava Roy. The committee will look into issues about women prisoners, overcrowding in prisons and will suggest reforms for prisons across the country.
Logical Indian Take
Jail reforms are necessary so that prisoners don’t lose connection with the outside world and transform their lives for good. Prisoners have a life after their punishment term gets completed. Hence they should be prepared for the outside world and prove to be an asset from then on. In 2015 a prisoner Ajit Kumar from Varanasi, who studied diploma in tourism studies from Indira Gandhi National Open University, became the all India topper. He was a murder convict. In fact, in Maharashtra, a jail reforms initiative ‘gala bhet'(personal meeting) is organised which allows prisoners to celebrate special occasions with the family members. Such incidents tell us that Indian jails provide an opportunity to the convict to improve themselves and will enable them to connect to the outside world.