The 38-year-old woman was due to deliver a baby in a month when she was convicted in a dowry case in 2001. She gave birth to a baby girl, but inside Tihar Jail. “The girl is now in Class XII and goes to a private school. When she turned three, India Vision Foundation put her in a girls’ hostel and changed her life,” said the woman with a hint of pride in her voice.
The former convict, who now runs a tailoring business in South Delhi, was a part of the 25th year celebration of Kiran Bedi’s foundation Saturday afternoon. Former convicts, families of convicts currently serving terms, and teachers with the foundation spoke about the impact of its projects.
Bedi said, “The idea of IVF came to my mind during my stint at Tihar Jail. Children of convicts had nothing to do, there were no schools for them. We began by arranging a playroom for them, and from there the project grew.”
At the event, a teacher who is a part of the foundation said, “These children come from broken families and we have to fill that gap.” A 14-year-old boy, whose mother is currently serving a term, spoke about the hostel and the school he now goes to. “My mother went to prison when I was just one year old. My sister found out about the foundation and I was enrolled in school,” he said.
Bedi served as the Inspector General of Delhi Prisons from 1993-95 and is currently L-G, Puducherry. IVF’s other projects include Dhun, in which convicts are provided music training. The event ended with a musical performance by police personnel and former convicts, who had been trained under the project.