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Proud moment for prison inmates

S.P. Saravanan

The prisoners said they had never been to school

Photo: K. Ananthan

A day to remember:Superintendent of Coimbatore Central Prison A. Murugesan felicitating the prison inmates who passed the SSLC examinations on Friday. —

COIMBATORE: That age and place was not a deterrent to achieve glory was proved by all the six inmates of the Coimbatore Central Prison who passed the SSLC examinations, the results of which were declared on Friday.

The six prisoners, aged between 27 and 53, said they had never been to school. Yet, they have managed to clear the examinations. Joy was writ large on the faces of these men even as the examination results trickled in.

S. Vanjimuthu (27) topped the list securing 369 marks out of 500 followed by T. Amritharaj (34) with 286, P. Vijayakanth (31) with 284, N. Murugesan with 264, T. Raja (28) with 266 and G. Mohan (53), the senior most, clearing both the Tamil and English papers which he attempted for the second time. While five were life term convicts, one of them was an under-trial, said A. Murugesan, Superintendent of Coimbatore Central Prison, after felicitating the inmates.

The topper, Vanjimuthu said that it was a great opportunity to pursue courses at the prison and said he would do his best to get a degree. The inmates felt that they would be privileged if the certificates were presented to them in front of their family members.

Last year, eight out of 23 inmates cleared the SSLC examination.

The good show by the prisoners was attributed to the efforts of some Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), who took weekend classes and the timely help from graduate inmates, Mr. Murugesan said.

Around 110 inmates were pursuing under graduate and post graduate courses in five universities while 25 others pursued courses in desktop publishing, 40 attended a course in Hindi and 30 were learning to speak English.

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