GOVERNMENT OF WEST BENGAL
INFORMATION & CULTURAL AFFAIRS DEPARTMENT
NABANNA, 325 Sarat Chatterjee Road, HOWRAH-711102
Phone No. 2253 5111/5336
NO: 66/ICA/NB/PR Date: 20/02/2017
A Computer Based Fundamental Literacy (CBFL) Programme for prisoners in Correctional Homes in association with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Kolkata
Liberation of mind comes only with broadening of vision. Giving a second chance to life is the motto of the Correctional Services. Enabling the inmates to earn a living while incarcerated and also post release only can help them to re-establish themselves in the society as a responsible and active element.
It reveals from our latest statistics that in West Bengal there are 9223 illiterate prisoners in Correctional Homes throughout the State which is almost 43% of the total prisoners’ population. Also it is seen from the social demography that illiteracy and lack of proper education is a prime factor which drags many people towards crime, – one due to ignorance and secondly as a result of unemployment.
The Government has taken various progressive steps in the fields of education, art and craft, vocational training, etc in order to prepare the prisoners for a better scope of life and to utilize their period of incarceration gainfully. At the same time, they also need to learn certain basic educational skills to adopt new vocational trades in order to make a successful transition back into society once they are released from Correctional Homes. Hence, in tune with the kind of priority given to education and cultural upliftment of mind and soul in Bengal and with the aim to achieve 100% literacy among the inmate population, this Directorate has taken up Project SANDEEPAN – the inmate literacy programme in Correctional Homes of West Bengal. The Tata Consultancy Services, Kolkata has agreed to work as the knowledge partner in this project. TCS has taken up this venture under their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme. Training has been imparted, free of cost, by TCS to participants from all cadres of correctional staff and officers including inmates at four different locations of the State for the Computer Based Fundamental Literacy (CBFL) programme.
Computers and accessories required for running Computer Based Fundamental Literacy (CBFL) software is being allotted to all Correctional Homes. These computers are dedicated for the programme of inmates under Project Sandeepan are being given to all Correctional Homes of the State to ensure thorough training and monitoring. Monitoring of the learners will be done jointly by the Directorate of Correctional Services, Government of West Bengal and TCS, Kolkata for overall uplift of literacy level as well as enhancing the employability of the inmates on release.
Project Sandeepan is a step taken towards achieving a 100% literate population in West Bengal Correctional Homes.
This Department feels extremely proud to launch Project Sandeepan – the inmate literacy programme in Correctional Homes of West Bengal today, the 1st day of February, 2017, the auspicious day of Saraswati Puja. Devi Saraswati is worshiped as the Goddess of Education and Culture. There is a convention in Bengal of Haate Kkori, the first step to formal education, on this day after offering puja to the Devi. We are about to start our journey towards literacy for all residents of West Bengal Correctional Homes through Computer Based Fundamental Literacy (CBFL) software developed by TCS. They being our knowledge partner in this venture has agreed to impart training to the trainers free of cost as their Corporate Social Responsibility. The software is also shared free of cost by TCS with this Department. We wish to walk together to achieve successful continuation of this project through the State of West Bengal.
Hon’ble MIC of Deptt of Correctional Administration, Government of West Bengal Shri Abanimohan Joardar has lighted the lamp of project Sandeepan in presence of DG & IG of Correctional Services, West Bengal Shri Arun Kumar Gupta, IPS and representatives of our knowledge partner, Tata Consultancy Services Smt Chaitaly Bose, HR Head, India East, Smt Priya Sequeira Mohapatra, GM, CSR, India East, Shri Sagar Dutta, CSR Lead, Kolkata and other officials of West Bengal Correctional Services.