State to start Yoga training for prisoners

Mumbai : To mark International Day of Yoga, State government has decided to initiate from June 21 physical, mental and spiritual training for prisoners across the state to help inmates come out of depression.

“Convicts are sent to jails so that they can be reformed and Yoga has scientifically been proven to help reform corrupt minds. Thus, we have decided to include yoga and meditation in prisons across the state from June 21,” Minister of State for

Home (Rural) Ram Shinde told PTI on Thursday.

He said that there are around 28,000 prisoners lodged in about 50 jails of the state.

“Out of these, we have found that about 10-15 per cent of the prisoners are suffering from depression. Yoga and meditation will have a positive effect on their minds and they will be able to gradually come out of depression.

“Thus, we will hire teachers for the purpose, who will teach prisoners the techniques for one week. Once a certain number of prisoners learn the basic techniques, they can come forward and teach another prisoners,” the minister said.

Shinde said the government will also start a concept called “Sudharvani” on the lines of Akashwani, to invoke the spiritual side of the inmates.

“This concept was first started in Tihar jail. We are borrowing their concept and have started the Sudharvani programme in the Nashik jail. We will now introduce these programmes in other jails as well,” he said.

“Under this programme, prisoners will be able to listen to devotional songs, hymns and other religious songs, that will help them see the positive side of life and shun the negativity surrounding them,” Shinde said.

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