By Permission of Daily Baskhar
Ahmedabad: Young and shy, Doli Jayswal stood fourth in her post-graduate (PG) diploma on Friday. This would not have been a big deal in any manner, had she not been the only woman inmate who studied and finished the course while serving her sentence in Sabarmati Central Jail. She along with 50 other inmates from 14 jails in the state received PG and diploma certificates in value education and spirituality during a convocation ceremony in the city.
Of them, 19 inmates were awarded PG diplomas, while 32 received diplomas through a distance education programme by Annamalai University and education wing of Brahma Kumaris.
According to data provided by the jail authorities and Brahma Kumaris, 39 students had enrolled for the course, 26 of them attended the classes and 19 appeared and cleared the exam. Among the top PG performers is 35-year-old Meru Gohil, who stood first, while his elder brother Gambhirsinh (43) finished 15th. The duo is imprisoned at Junagadh district jail.
Noting a change in his own behavior through the course, Meru wrote: “I used to be angry earlier thinking I was imprisoned despite being innocent, but the course has taught me to embrace true peace and joy. Through the Karma philosophy, I realised that I’m in here paying for something I might have done in a past life.”
Among the three postgraduates who cleared the exam in English language is a professor of rural studies, Virendra Vaishnav. He had studied and done social work in Africa for nearly a decade before teaching at South Gujarat University.
“I have studied and taught a lot before I went to Lajpore Central Jail in Surat and this course was more for the peace of mind than anything else,” said Vaishnav.
In addition, 32 inmates appeared for the diploma course, all of whom passed. Around 54 inmates had enrolled for the diploma from prisons including Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara, Palanpur, Rajkot, Jamnagar, Bhavnagar, Mehsana, Himmatnagar and Bhuj. Among them, Vikas Jain and Chetan Makvana were tied for the first rank. Both are inmates from Surat.
At the convocation ceremony, various jail officials and dignitaries including DIG Gujarat prisons, IM Desai, director of education wing, Brahma Kumaris, Mount Abu, BK Mruthunjaya, ADGP & IG of prisons, PC Thakur, director at Annamalai University, Dr SB Nageswara Rao, zonal head of Gujarat Brahma Kumaris, Rajyogini BK Sarladidi and superintendent of Sabarmati Central Jail RJ Pargi. Officials of all the prisons that participated in the education programme were also felicitated.