International calling facilities may be installed in Kolkata prisons

International calling facilities may be installed in Kolkata prisons
Kolkata: Prison authorities in West Bengal are considering installing international calling facilities in city correctional homes to allow over 2,200 foreign inmates connect with their relatives in their own country, an official said on Monday.

There are around 2,200 Bangladeshis, 10 Pakistanis and 36 citizens of Nigeria, South Africa and Myanmar in the three city correctional homes.

"A proposal has been submitted to the West Bengal home department seeking approval to install ISD (International Subscriber Dialling) facilities in Dum Dum, Presidency and Alipore Central Correctional homes which house a large number of foreign inmates," Inspector General (Correctional Homes) Ranvir Kumar said.

The move is aimed at providing relief to the foreign inmates who suffer from loneliness and depression. It would also allow the prison authorities to contact their international counterparts.

"It is not possible for the relatives of these inmates to frequently meet them. There are some who have not seen their relatives since becoming inmates. If the facility is installed it will help them get over their loneliness," said Mr Kumar.

He said the required clearance for the proposal might take time as it needed to be cleared by the home and intelligence department as well as other agencies concerned.

If the project secures approval of the state home department, the inmates will be allowed to make five calls per week, each call having a maximum duration of 10 minutes.