New Delhi, Dec 21: Inmates of Delhi's high-security Tihar jail will soon get life and accidental insurance cover as the prison administration, in collaboration with Indian Bank, has decided to get their accounts opened under the Jan Dhan Yojna.
As per the scheme, the inmates will come under accidental insurance cover of Rs 1 lakh and a life insurance cover of Rs 30,000 even while serving their sentence.
Jan Dhan Yojna, launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 28 August, aims at providing access to banking facilities to all the citizens of the country.
As many as 4,500 convicted inmates will be made beneficiaries of the scheme with the help of Indian Bank, which also provides banking facility to officials and staff on the jail premises.
Starting Monday, bank staff will visit all the jails in Tihar and will meet the convicts in person to assist them avail the scheme. The documentation and the form filling will be taken care by the bank staff within the jail premises.
"Over 4,500 inmates will benefit from Jan Dhan Yojna. The convicts will be the first ones to avail the service. We have requested Indian Bank to help us in the matter as it has been providing banking facility to the jail staff here," DIG (Prisons) Mukesh Prasad told PTI.
"Under this, the inmates will also get accidental cover of Rs 1 lakh and life insurance up to Rs 30,000 if anything happens during their term of sentence here. But those cases will be scrutinised by the jail administration for fair issuance of money," he said.
T M Bhasin, Chairman and Managing Director of Indian Bank, said a drive in this regard will begin on December 22 and that they aim to complete it by the month end.
"We'll initially deal with all Aadhar Card holders for whom it would be easy to complete the formalities. Others will avail the service if the jail provides their identification proof and other necessary documents. The inmates will get their New Year's gift. The scheme will be very helpful for the inmates...," said Bhasin.
The best part of the scheme is that whatever money an inmate earns working in the jail can now be deposited directly to their respective accounts and their families can also have access to the account and withdraw cash as per their need, Bhasin said.
The initiative will come true after all inmates have been issued Aadhar Card which is a necessary requirement for the banking facility.
"Almost all the inmates have been issued Aadhar Cards here. We have also tried our best to provide Aadhar facility to the floating population of the under-trials who came here during the time when Aadhar camps were set up. It was needed as Aadhar is the best option for a citizen's identity proof making banking facility to the inmates easy," said DIG (Prisons) Prasad.
"The Jan Dhan Yojna was launched to benefit all the citizens of the country. The inmates can't be barred from the scheme. This scheme will help inmates gain financial stability and will also help their family to have access to the money earned by the inmates while they are in jail," Prasad said.
Some cases of suicides and deaths have been reported from Tihar jail in the past few months, health issues being reason in most of the cases. The jail administration will in future be able to help the inmates' families access financial gains in such situations.