Gandhiji said, ‘Hate the sin, not the sinner.’ It is mostly the violent act that puts one behind bars but repentance can dilute it and it seems true for the 89 inmates of Arthur Road Jail who appeared for Gandhi Peace exam today. Among them, 4 death sentenced inmates and 10 Anda cell inmates appeared for the exam. One Jail official also appeared for the exam. Two of the Anda cell prisoners are toppers in the exam with 79 out of 80 marks.
"I came to know true value of truth and ahimsa. I realized the mistakes made by me and took a vow not to go astray in life," one of the Anda cell prisoner expressed his view in feedback after the exam. He wrote a letter to Sarvodaya Mandal last year, expressing his interest to read Books on Gandhi and to appear for Gandhi exam, after which Sarvodaya Mandal also sent Gandhi’s autobiography to him.
Bombay Sarvodaya Mandal is organising the Gandhi Peace Examination since last ten years in various jails of Maharashtra. The result has been inspiring for the Mandal as well as the inmates and officials of various jails. The aim of the examination is to invoke the sense of regret in jail inmates and to inculcate qualities of Satya and Ahimsa amongst them to become a better citizen after their release.
The Gandhi Peace examination was conducted for prisoners by Bombay Sarvodaya Mandal under the invaluable supervision of Jail Superintendent Bharat Bhosale with active support of Senior Jailer Y. B. Baviskar and Jail Teacher Ankush Dhengale. To introduce Gandhian principles to jail inmates, a lecture by once hardcore criminal Laxman Gole, who confessed to his crime before the judge after reading Gandhi’s autobiography and is working with Sarvodaya Mandal after his release from Nasik Central jail, was organized before the exam.