PUNE: Prison services in several states across the country on Saturday launched a sports training initiative with government oil distributor Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) for inmates on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti. Yerawada Central Prison, the only prison that participated in the initial phase of the Maharashtra initiative, has announced 60 players who will train with three IOCL coaches next month.
The three sports include chess, carrom and volleyball with 20 players each. Carrom’s coach will be Yogesh Pardeshi (46), three-time world champion, and chess coach will be Eesha Karavade (33), the 2005 female grandmaster.
The initiative, however, was not introduced in Yerawada Women’s Prison. Alipore Correctional House for Women in West Bengal was one of the few prisons to launch the Women’s Initiative.
“According to the Bombay High Court directive, men – even coaches – cannot be allowed into the women’s prison. We asked for female coaches. Once we get them, the coaching will also start there, ”said Atulchandra Kulkarni, Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) for Maharashtra Prisons.
“We will provide the equipment, installation and supervision. We had proposed a three-month program. So far we have received information for a month. The schedule will be provided by the prison administration in accordance with the security protocol, ”said Rajesh Jadhav, Director General of Human Resources, IOCL.
The coaches who work with IOCL are players who represented the country. IOCL holds an annual training for children in Konkan, Maharashtra, which provides hands-on training experience for players.
“There are three levels: beginner, intermediate and professional. Beginner and intermediate coaching is done by others that I train. I train professional level players. These players are usually under the age of 14 or under the age of 18, as these courses are organized with students from junior schools or colleges who are approaching IOCL, ”Pardeshi said.
When asked about the difference between the training strategy for training children and inmates, the coaches had various strategies.
“I have been teaching with IOCL for 17-18 years. From experience, I now know who has the skills for this when I see them play. We have now been given the names of the 20 players, I hope they will become players, ”Pardeshi said.
“I haven’t trained a lot. But seen from an outside point of view, they are adults and very little distracted inside the prison. There are multiple distractions and commitments from the outside. So I think maybe it will be easier to focus and learn, ”said Karavade.
Shrikant Madhav Vaidya, President of IOCL and ADGP of the prison departments of various states, including ADGP Kulkarni of Maharashtra and Anirban Ghosh of IOCL, attended the inaugural event.