The Delhi Prisons Department will soon kick-start a new initiative to impart professional training to inmates of Tihar Jail in various sports, officials said on Sunday.
Prison officials said two-time Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar, lodged in the Tihar jail after being arrested in the Chhatrasal Stadium brawl case which led to death of another wrestler, will also be allowed to engage in the activities as a participant if he shows interest.
"Sushil Kumar is trained in wrestling but if he shows interest in playing badminton, volleyball or any other sports which is being organised under the new initiative, we will allow him to actively engage as a participant," a senior jail official said.
This is the first time that inmates of Tihar jail will be trained in sports with the help of coaches in a more professional and scientific manner, jail officials said.
Under the initiative, sponsored by the Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) as part of their CSR project, the inmates will be trained in six sports -- Kho-Kho, volleyball, badminton, basketball, chess and carrom, they said.
According to jail administration, the IOCL will send professional coaches to Tihar twice a week to train interested inmates in each of these selected games.
They will also provide necessary sports equipments and jerseys for 20 inmates in each sports, a senior jail official said.
Director General (Delhi Prisons) Sandeep Goel said in collaboration with IOCL, the inmates will be soon trained by professional coaches in various sports.
"Such activities will help create a positive and healthy atmosphere inside the prison. It will channelise their energy in a positive direction and most importantly, will help in keeping themselves both physically and mentally fit as well as healthy," he said.
Jail officials said interested inmates and those who are already trained in such sports will be trained by the professional coaches so that they can further engage other inmates in these games.
They said the female inmates lodged in central jail number six will be trained in badminton, chess and carrom.
It will also help these inmates in enhancing their performance in their annually held inter-jail sports competitions, he said.
In the near future, such professional sports activities will be initiated in jails of Rohini and Mandoli as well, jail officials said.
According to prison officials, for over a month now, no new Covid cases has been reported among the inmates or staffs Tihar, Rohini and Mandoli jails.
According to a latest data shared by authorities, 13,560 Covid vaccine doses have been administered to inmates in all the three jails, of which 11,609 were first doses and 1,951 were second jabs.
The total number of inmates and staff in all the three jails is 17,100, prison officials said.