It’s Always Possible: Transforming One of The Largest Prisons in the World
Motivation, persistence and perseverance are the distinct traits of determined, dedicated individuals who can make things happen. It’s always possible, even when the task is awesome, to transform the mindsets of human beings. Located in the capital city of India, New Delhi, Tihar is one of the largest prisons in the world. Within a prison complex of over 200 acres are housed over 11,000 inmates—men, women, adolescents, children; Indians and foreigners. They comprise unconvicted alleged offenders, convicts and remandees. It was a limping and languishing institution, condemned by the media, isolated from the community, exploited, used and abused, yet ‘housed’.
Dr Kiran Bedi (then 44) was appointed the Inspector General of Tihar prison on May 1, 1993. She brought about fundamental changes, giving a humane face to the administrative structure—creating an exemplary system covering every possible aspect of prison management. The whole objective was to initiate and strengthen collectively and individually the transition from a wooden system to a responsive and sensitive administration. Hence this effort unfolds the process of this reformation involving prison administration, prisoners and the community—towards one common goal— ‘correction’ through a ‘collective’ and ‘community’-based approach. Kiran Bedi, Ph.D, is India’s first and highest ranking (retired in 2007) woman officer who joined the Indian Police Service in 1972. Her experience and expertise include more than 35 years of tough, innovative and welfare policing.
She has worked with the United Nations as the Police Advisor to the Secretary General, in the Department of Peace Keeping Operations.
She has represented India at the United Nations, and in International forums on crime prevention, drug abuse, police and prison reforms and women’s issues.
She has also been a National and an Asian Tennis champion.
Recipient of the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award (also called the Asian Nobel Prize), and several other decorations, Dr. Bedi is an author of several books, anchors radio and television shows and is a columnist with leading newspapers and magazines. She is a sought after speaker on social, professional and leadership issues.
She is the founder of two NGOs, Navjyoti and India Vision Foundation, which reach out to over 10,000 beneficiaries daily, in the areas of drug abuse treatment, schooling for children of prisoners, in addition to education, training, counselling, and health care to the urban and rural poor.
Kiran Bedi has been voted as India’s most admired woman and fifth amongst all Indians.
For more information on her visit
www.kiranbedi.com and her latest initiative on police reforms,