While the festive season has just ended, the countdown for exam period has begun. The student community is preparing for its respective exams, including inmates who are studying for Bachelor of Preparatory Programme (BPP) examination that will help them secure a seat for degree courses offered by the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU).
Several inmates are proud of the fact that they have opted to
study instead of merely biding their time in prison
Even as 25 inmates from Arthur Road prison have applied for different graduate and postgraduate courses, 16 inmates gave the BPP examination that was held in December.
Out of those 16, 13 passed the test with flying colours, while the remaining have again enrolled for the exam that will be held in June. Surinder Kumar, DIG (Prisons), said, "There are many inmates who show keen interest in studies. As we have a tie-up with the varsity, the courses are made available to the inmates for free."
Satish Chavan (name changed), lodged in Arthur Road prison, said, "After passing the BPP examination, I'm studying hard to earn a degree."
Chavan, who studies for at least an hour and half every day, added that his family would be proud to know that he's not wasting time in jail. "I think by the time I'm released, I'll become a graduate. And even if I fail this time, I'll appear for the exam again," said a hopeful Chavan.
Likewise, Chandu Kamble (name changed), said, "I never miss an opportunity to take help of the teacher, who has been appointed by jail authorities. Also, I get my doubts clarified by the educated inmates." An optimistic Kamble asked other inmates not to lose hope. "Even if some people fail in the exam, they shouldn't lose hope and keep trying till they succeed," he said.
AR Gavhane, an IGNOU coordinator and a teacher at Arthur Road prison, said, "Since most of the inmates here are facing trial, they leave from jail before the course is completed. However, they should know that they can complete the course from the same university even after they are released."