Agra: Reena Sharma of Malpura, Agra, serving jail term for kidnapping children for money, would never had imagined that someday her child who was born in the jail would able to get a good future, let alone proper education. She and three other women inmates have now been provided with the opportunity to send their children to school. Under the Right To Education Act, jail superintendent Shashikant Mishra admitted the kids in a city convent school, and with the help of a local activist have arranged books, uniforms and stationery for them. Mishra, who has served for 27 years as a jail official, said , “This is for the first time in the state and probably in the country, where children of inmates will get education in convent school. Earlier, I started such a project in Lucknow jail, where inmates’ kids were enrolled in a private school.”
Mishra, who took over charge of Agra jail last year in June, has brought several reforms and upgraded facilities for prisoners.
He is credited for introducing legal kiosk systems, sanitary napkin incinerators, apart from other facilities.
Currently, there 20 children below six years in Agra jail but only two girls and four boys have been admitted in the junior kindergarten of city-based Holy Public School. These kids are dropped at school and picked up by jail personnel every day.
Local activist Vijay Bansal and his wife, Sunita Bansal, have volunteered to pay for the children’s uniform, books and other stationery items, while the convent school management has decided to provide education to these kids up to the intermediate level.
Speaking to TOI, Sanjay Tomar, managing director of the school, said , “A few weeks back, jail superintendent Mishra contacted us with idea of getting inmates’ kids enrolled in our school. The proposal was backed by Arvind Pandey, joint secretary of basic education. We discussed the matter and decided to start the project with the hope that a small step might change the fortune of these underprivileged children.”