Punjab borstal jail inmates form pipe band; to perform on Republic Day

Updated: Dec 14, 2014, 12:22 IST | PTI |

A pipe band formed out of a group of inmates of the only borstal jail in Punjab are gearing up to regale audiences at the Republic Day celebrations here next year

Chandigarh: A pipe band formed out of a group of inmates of the only borstal jail in Punjab are gearing up to regale audiences at the Republic Day celebrations here next year.

A group of 21 such inmates of Ludhiana's borstal jail are taking training to play pipes and drums, Punjab's Additional Director General of Police (ADGP Prisons) Rajpal Meena told PTI here. Borstal jails are detention centres meant to reform young delinquent people. The musical ensemble of pipers and drummers will perform at government functions and marriage parties and also on the coming Republic Day parade here, he said.

They are trying their hands on playing tunes like 'Cook of the Nore', 'Evergreen March', 'Rajasthani slow march', 'Skyward song', 'Sare Jahan Se Acha' among others, he said. "Our purpose is to keep the young offenders busy and reintegrate them into the society once they are out of the jail after serving their sentence. This will also help them in getting employment after their term is over," Meena said.

"The pipe band team will not only perform at government functions, but private parties and marriages as well forperformances, which they will be paid for," he said. This endeavour as part of jail norms to reform and rehabilitate inmates in the age group of 18-21 years, which was stopped over two decades ago in Punjab, has been revived some three months ago, he said.

Our effort is to impart creativity among inmates and make them self-sustainable, Meena said, adding, that prisoners with good conduct, and those who have not jumped their parole, and are willing, have been taken into this band. Besides, this will inculcate discipline, team spirit and positive attitude in young offenders. "They will soon play outside jail at functions on a payment basis," Meena said.

The authorities have purchased the necessary equipment such as bagpies, cymbals, tenor drums, bar drums and drum sticks besides the uniforms for the team for the purpose, and training on regular basis is being provided to 21 inmates, he said. Besides, the state government has also opened a music teaching room where prisoners can write, compose and perform their own songs, he said.

Some inmates in Ludhiana Central Jail are preparing biscuits of different varieties which are being sold outside, Meena said. The production is one quintal per day and it will be raised to 18 quintal a day in the days to come, he said. As part of reforms, jail inmates are also stitching towels and these are being later sold outside.

Women inmates in jail are being trained in dress-designing and make-up courses so that brides could use their services, Meena said. Two restaurants will shortly be opened for general public outside Patiala and Sangrur central jails as both jails fall on the highway to Bathinda Inmates will serve food cooked by themselves in theseeateries to those who prefer to stop by to have food at these locations, he said.

The prisoners will be trained as chefs, helps, waiters and managers and they will work in these restaurants. They would be cooking different types of food ranging from Indian to continental, Meena said

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