Real Rehabilitation

Indian inmates repair motors, fans, coolers at rapid rate

An Indian training center run by inmates of the country’s largest prison puts faith in the word “rehabilitation” as it relates to correctional systems. There, at Tihar Jail, part of the Tihar Prisons complex in Delhi, fans and coolers are fixed in a matter of hours, motors are rewound, even the loudspeaker systems are repaired…all by inmates.

Delhi, the nation’s capital, has a robust electrical industry but suffers from air pollution and rising mercury levels. The program was set up by jail administration as part of an effort to expand vocational programs and advance prospects for more diplomas to be earned in prison, writes Shubhomoy Sikdar of The Hindu, a major Indian news outlet.

Trainers say minor repairs are completed rapidly. Motor rewinds are reportedly done in a matter of hours, and fans are one of the most common repairs during hot summers. In the last two months, the shop has repaired 137 fans.

“Earlier, it would take three months to repair one fan, due to which the inmates would suffer. Sometimes, fans would return as late as the winter months, when those were not even required,” a jail official told Sikdar.

New courses are being introduced as part of a trial period for now, and they include motor winding, general electrical repair, and soon HVAC repair, according to prison director Sudhir Yadav, who spoke with Sikdar.

Inmates who complete the courses can gain diplomas from the Jan Shikshan Sansthan, part of the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Sikdar reported. The program is expected to be expanded to other jail systems in India.


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