Friday, June 3, 2011

Himalaya partners with Karnataka govt to rehabilitate prisoners by roping them into herbal cultivation

 Himalaya Herbal Healthcare signed an agreement with the Department of Prison Rehabilitation, Government of Karnataka, to create employment opportunities for prisoners, with the objective of rehabilitating them.

According to the agreement, the prisoners will cultivate medicinal herbs for Himalaya. This will help in skill-building and employment generation. The program will target prisoners charged with minor offences, who have shown good behaviour and a desire to rebuild their lives.

In phase I of the project, the herb cultivation will be undertaken at the Open Air Prison at Avathi village in Devanhalli Taluk. Initially, cultivation will be carried out on a small plot of land, approximately one to two acres. While the open air prison has a large tract of land available for cultivation, the first phase of the project will start small, in order to strengthen logistics.

Inmates of the open air prison will participate in the herb cultivation project, earning a regular monthly income and acquiring essential skills. Himalaya will provide seeds and technical assistance along with training to the prisoners. Once the system begins to operate smoothly and efficiently, Himalaya will explore the possibility of scaling up the project and expanding scope to other prisons across the state.

According to Dr Babu, Head – Agrotech Department, The Himalaya Drug Company, said “Society can be very unforgiving to prisoners. We stereotype them as criminals and never really give them a chance to rehabilitate themselves. Himalaya’s corporate social responsibility program focuses on reaching out to underprivileged sections of society through livelihood development. That is why when the Government of Karnataka approached us with this proposal, we were very excited. With the right support and encouragement, some of these prisoners can be effectively rehabilitated. This project will give prisoners an opportunity to earn a decent income and acquire new skills. In a small way, our efforts will help them rebuild their lives by giving them a fair chance.”

Prison reform is essential. Equipping prisoners with basic skills through such initiatives will help them in future employment, build their self-esteem and assist their re-integration into society.

Source: Pharmabiz

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