To mark the 150th year of Mahatama Gandhi’s birth anniversary, Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) in association with Gandhi Smriti and Drashan Smriti has launched a Certificate programme on “Peace Studies and Conflict Management” for jail inmates across India. According to a statement from IGNOU, the certificate programme aims ‘to help jail inmates become better citizens once they go out and join the mainstream’.
The foundation programme would be available in both Hindi and English for the learners and initially would be launched at the jails and later would be open for everyone as the programme is relevant for all.
Prof. Nageshwar Rao, VC, IGNOU announced that the programme would be free of cost for the jail inmates. He said that the jail inmates are not liabilities to the society and this programme could help them become assets.
The launch function was held at the Gandhi Smriti. Dr. Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha) and President, Indian Council of Cultural Relations was present as the chief guest.
Prof D Gopal, IGNOU outlined the programme structure and thanked the more than 200 Gandhian Scholars who have contributed to the study material for the different courses on Gandhi for the university.
Ms. Tara Gandhi Bhattacharjee, Mahatama Gandhi’s granddaughter, while attending the launching event, urged the programme to be supplemented with some vocational training like “Charkha” spinning to empower them, to give them sense of being self-sufficient and not dependent as a symbolic way of instilling Gandhian Philopsphy of peace and non-violence.
Dr. Vinay Sahasrabuddhe in his inspiring speech has advised the university to suitably phrase the word conflict. He has further suggested that the aim of the programme should be towards cohesion creation and confluence.