Supported By:
ROTARY CLUB AMRITSAR SOUTH

INITIATIVE

The Government of Punjab, keeping in view the deteriorating conditions of Punjab Prisons, initiated steps towards Prison reforms in order to streamline the functioning of Prisons in the State. Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh, an officer of 1998 batch of Indian Police Service (IPS) of Punjab Cadre was made DIG Prisons in December 2005 with Headquarters at Amritsar Central Prison. The idea was to develop Amritsar Central Prison into a model prison which could be replicated in the other prisons of Punjab. Kunwar became the youngest IPS officer in the country to be posted in the Prison Department in a short span of 7 Years of service. It was total chaos and mismanagement and mistrust between the prisoners and the prison staff when he took over. He not only took the prison staff in confidence but also utilized the potential of the prisoners and associated the community at large in the process of reformation.

The Education Centre, established with the help of the educated prisoners, was not only recognized by the GNDU Amritsar but the University also supported this project by providing infrastructure and by appointing special faculty for imparting vocational courses specially designed for the prisoners. The Centre of Excellence in Computers established by the officer with the help of prisoners and supported by the University has generated at least 200 computer literate people in this prison so far. A self sufficient 'Total Literacy Campaign' was launched to impart basic education to the illiterate prisoners with the help of educated prisoners and supported by the Community. Legal Aid Cell, established with the help of prisoners having legal background in collaboration with District legal Services Authority contributed in releasing more than 400 poor prisoners.

With the efforts of the officer, the foreigners were provided consular access to pave the way for repatriation to their respective countries. The free flow of Narcotics was stopped and De-addiction centre was set up with the help of Rotary Club. Project H-71, in collaboration with UNODC, was also implemented to prevent drug driven HIV. Wooden cots were provided to the prisoners to make them feel good. Special projects were launched for the vocational education of female inmates with the help of Home Science wing of Krishi Vigyan Kendra. The children living with them were enrolled in the schools outside the prison for the first time in the history of Punjab Prisons.

Yoga was made part of life in collaboration with the local chapter of Patanjali Yog Peeth Trust, Hardwar founded by Swami Ramdevji. Swamiji himself visited this prison on 17.11.06. He not only appreciated the ongoing reforms but was also overwhelmed to see the respect of human values and dignity of mankind in this Prison. In less than a year, Amritsar prison has become a model for Punjab.

The Bureau of Police Research and Development(BPR&D) of Government of India, recognizing the reforms, organized a training programme "Seeing is Learning" for Prison Superintendents of North India at Central Jail, Amritsar in November, 2006, where Valedictory address was made by Dr. Kiran Bedi, Director General, BPR&D. In recognition of contributions made by the officer in Prison Reforms, he was awarded with IVF award 2006 by Dr. Kiran Bedi and was also entrusted with the responsibility of Honorary Director of Punjab Chapter of India Vision Foundation.

Earlier served in Punjab Police in various capacities with major stints as SP City Amritsar, SP Mohali and SSP Ferozepur, the officer has distinction to detect the infamous kidney scam, CBSE PMT scam and first cyber crime of Punjab. He is also responsible for free and impartial Parliament elections in 2004 in Ferozepur which was a major challenge for the Election Commission of India. Decorated with prestigious Baba Farid Award 2004 for Honesty, he has commanded 7th Battalion of Punjab Armed Police and 3rd India Reserve Battalion.

Mail to Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh at: kunwarv@yahoo.com, sudharghar@gmail.com
for(var i=0;i