Suggestions given by the court:
- It is high time that robust programmes involving women prisoners, especially those not educated and from economically weaker sections, must be developed in the jail, which is those must stretch beyond the traditional and stereotyped activities of agarbatti – jam – pickle – papad making skills for which consumption is scanty or hair dressing, tailoring, beauty care.
- While suggestions towards encouraging development of linguistic skills and stenography (which require hardly any financial or infrastructure investment) have been taken up, these need to be taken up more vigorously.
- Given the pressures of today’s lifestyles and longevity of life, there is pressing need for geriatric caregivers and para-nursing assistance (again not a capital or infrastructure intensive activity). Even illiterate prisoners (women and men) can be imparted skills in such areas which could provide crucial economic opportunity.
- Training for toddler care may enable the prisoner to develop or assist in crèches and anganwadis, nursery schools etc.
- These are financially viable options requiring no infrastructure and deserve to be considered. Of course, experts would have the knowledge and expertise to provide other really meaningful interventions to adequately equip the prisoners with profitable and sustainable options using modern technology and latest information.
- Simultaneously, community sensitisation programs qua the way society views prisoners must be developed.
- The jail, social scientists, NGOs, legal aid authorities and the governments must educate society on these aspects and ensure that this disproportionate impact of incarceration of women is minimised and even eradicated.
- It must be ensured that having undergone (or while undergoing) their sentences, this group of completely marginalised women do not suffer at the hands of society.
The bench directed the Registry to send a copy of the judgment to the Secretary, Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Government of India; Secretary, Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Government of India; Chief Secretary, Government of NCT of Delhi; Commissioner of Police, New Delhi; Director General (Prisons), Central Jail, Tihar; and Member Secretary, Delhi Legal Services Authority, to examine the observations and explore appropriate programmes and intervention so that mainstreaming and rehabilitation of women prisoners is not compromised in any manner.
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