New meaning to ‘life’ behind bars

by Nicolas Heffernan24 Dec 2014
Life without parole could net inmates a healthy life insurance policy in India.

Inmates of Delhi's high-security Tihar jail will soon get life and accidental insurance cover, as the prison administration, in collaboration with Indian Bank, has decided to get their accounts opened under the Jan Dhan Yojna, a scheme offering all Indians access to banking facilities to all the citizens of the country.

As per the scheme, the inmates will come under accidental insurance cover of and a life insurance cover of CAD $552 even while serving their sentence.

As many as 4,500 convicted inmates will be made beneficiaries of the scheme with the help of Indian Bank, which also provides banking facility to officials and staff on the jail premises.

"The Jan Dhan Yojna was launched to benefit all the citizens of the country. The inmates can't be barred from the scheme. This scheme will help inmates gain financial stability and will also help their family to have access to the money earned by the inmates while they are in jail," DIG (Prisons) Mukesh Prasad told PTI.

The inmates will be made beneficiaries of the scheme with the help of Indian Bank, which also provides banking facility to officials and staff on the jail premises.

"We'll initially deal with all Aadhar Card holders for whom it would be easy to complete the formalities. Others will avail the service if the jail provides their identification proof and other necessary documents. The inmates will get their New Year's gift. The scheme will be very helpful for the inmates," said TM Bhasin, Chairman and Managing Director of Indian Bank.

The best part of the scheme is that whatever money an inmate earns working in the jail can now be deposited directly to their respective accounts and their families can also have access to the account and withdraw cash as per their need, Bhasin said.

Some cases of suicides and deaths have been reported from Tihar jail in the past few months, health issues being reason in most of the cases. The jail administration will in future be able to help the inmates' families’ access financial gains in such situations.

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