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Now Prisoners To Promote Awareness On Aids

A group of 25 prisoners serving life sentence in different Kerala jails will perform a three-hour programme before the public Tuesday to promote awareness on HIV//.

"This is for the first time in Kerala that prisoners are going to show their talents outside the prison," Inspector General of Police G. Baburaj told reporters here Monday.

"They have done a crime and are in jail, but besides that they also have a social urge and we felt that a programme like this would be a morale booster. The prisoners would sing, act in skits, mimicry and stage mono acts. Except the songs all the other programmes are based on AIDS awareness," said Baburaj.

The prisoners - all men - have been drawn from 22 jails.

For the past three weeks they have all been housed in the Central Jail here and have been practising for the event. Kerala Governor R.L. Bhatia and Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan would attend the programme.

This programme was devised after a study by the Project Support Unit (PSU) attached to the Kerala State Aids Control Society in prisons in Kerala.

"This idea was mooted after we felt that the best way to carry the message of HIV AIDS both inside and outside the jail was through the talented prisoners," said PSU director S.K. Harikumar.

Selection of these prisoners was based on their eligibility to get parole and women prisoners were not selected because of security reasons.

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