Pune: A 40-year-old man who was released after 10 years in jail chose to make a fresh start with his own salon under the state rehabilitation process. With help from the Maharashtra prison department and an NGO, Santosh Aktar paid three months' rent and bought tools for his business.
Now an established barber, Atkar was booked by Pandharpur police station in Solapur district under section 304 of the Indian Penal Code in 2010. In 2016, a local court sent him to prison for a decade. He was found guilty on the charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder of his wife. He had said she refused to make tea for him.
According to prison sources, Atkar served nine years in Yerwada Central Jail and one year in open prison owing to his good behaviour. On Tuesday, he was rehabilitated and given the chance to set up a salon by Atul Chandra Kulkarni, Additional Director of General, Maharashtra Prison.
Yogesh Desai, Deputy Inspector General, South Region, Maharashtra Prison, confirmed the Atkar benefitting from the rehabilitation scheme, "Usually after inmates are released, they are not accepted in the society; they are mostly seen as criminals. In such cases, we set up a business for them. With the help of an NGO, Bhoi Foundation, we rented a shop and paid rent for Aktar. We also arranged for his salon equipment," added Desai saying it's the fourth such case of rehabilitation.
Dr Milind Bhoi, president of Bhoi foundation that helped Atkar, said, "The salon is set up at Zaat village in Sangli District. Atkar was trained to cut hair at the open prison. Later he also worked at the salon set up by the prison department for three months," he added.