Monday, July 22, 2013

Working with inmates of Tihar Jail

Many of you must have read the recent news that all the inmates of Tihar jail getting released in next 6 months have got 100% placement.  I was thinking, how will it be if I had to work with them as my colleague, reportee or even a boss. Let me be Share the first few thoughts that flashed my mind :

- First one was whether I would be able to have conversations with them the way I have currently with people at workplace

- Will I be able to confront them with an issue the way I do with people with no criminal background

- Will I be able to treat them with same respect or will their background constantly hover in my thinking

- Will I be able to invite them to get together's

- Will my family accept them during such get together's

After an hour or so I got over the above thoughts and said to myself that nobody in this world comes with a plan to do things they did and spend time in jail but it is the circumstances that made them do what they did. If I was born in the environment and circumstances that they were in, I possibly would have done the same.

Once I said this to myself I saw many new thoughts coming to my mind that actually can be of a great advantage to the corporate and let me share them :

- Ability to handle uncertainty.  The uncertainty about the future that they go thru during the trial period cannot be matched to any other uncertainty in this world.  I see many cribbing about uncertainty of jobs, career because the recession which to me now looks very minuscule when I see their uncertainty.

- Visualizing a positive future. After they get sentenced by the court what keeps them alive and ticking while serving the sentence is a visualization of what they will do once they come out of the jail.

- Living in a confined space. The inmates live in a small space that at times is shared by other inmates but in corporate people ask for bigger cabins, bigger cubicles, corner office, window seat and so on. For sure Facilities Management can have a great time with no complaints from them on this front.

- Live life without any variety. I keep hearing in corporate that the food court has only 7 types of cuisines whereas in the jail there may be only 1 type of cuisine with more or less the same gravy / masala (only occassional change of vegetables) both for lunch and dinner and possibly even for breakfast. We may not need any Food Committees any more in corporate who keep changing the cuisines every few months and still not able to satisfy the demands of employees.

- Adherence to time: There is a fix time in jail for each activity including lunch / dinner and the attendance call.  They learn to strictly adhere to time. This can be a great quality that corporate can learn from them as many people take adherence to time in corporate not as seriously.

- Patience: Nobody in the world can have the level of patience they have as all the above qualities cannot be demonstrated without patience.

At the end I would like to say that I look forward to working with a Tihar Jail Inmate and imbibe many of the above qualities from them.

Let me know what thoughts are you having after reading this blog ?


At July 22, 2013 at 10:57 AM , Blogger Sivaram Kuppachi said...

Well Written. My 2 Centents is that, these set of individuals are best suited to undersand "Loose to Learn" model.

At July 22, 2013 at 7:40 PM , Blogger J2M said...

Good one Yogesh! I had looked up elsewhere to learn that some of the inmates had earned multiple degrees while in confinement (often finishing 10 years of education in a span of 5 years). It is not about the PAST but who is more FUTURE ready, that's what counts more in the current world!

At July 25, 2013 at 6:12 AM , Blogger Priya Sarathy said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At July 26, 2013 at 3:56 AM , Blogger Suresh said...

Nice thoughts. Some (random) thoughts.

1. A person is shaped by the family, surroundings and environment till a certain age. After that there is not much acceptance by the human mind to change, unless it is extreme circumstances. While there may be a % of people who are inside the jail because of no fault of theirs (but were victims of circumstances), a vast majority of the inmates probably have a background because of which they are inside the jail. Given this, will they be able to adapt well to the new 'work environment'?

2. I have read several times that 'influential inmates' find ways to lead life in a way that suits them and are given special privileges. If this is the case, where is the question of the person getting reformed (not that if treated badly one would be reformed).

3. I would probably act more 'normal' with them if I did not know that they had this background. So, while HR may know (and they need to know), they probably need not share this info with everyone to give higher chances of success.

At July 26, 2013 at 10:07 AM , Blogger Ravindra Tulsyan said...

I feel that every person has a survival instinct. We all can survive in a given setting. I would be curious to know what happens to those Tihar inmates when they come back to this world and become free. Equanimity is the key to live without anything affecting you. But the one who can live with equanimity when a lot is happening around him is the real saint. If you go to Himalayas or become a monk, it is great. But what is greater is that you live surrounded by all vices and maintain equanimity. That person is the real saint.

At July 27, 2013 at 2:40 AM , Blogger Hrushikesh said...

Very thought provoking article. I wish everyone in society shows this attitude towards these individuals and help them live respectable life as everyone deserves it. Its success of the rehabilitation programs at the jail and also excellent gesture of corporate social responsibility in placement of these individuals.

When I read this and thought how will I come across to them as colleague I had no answers, but looking at the behavioural qualities they would have, I now feel I will have lot to learn from them. Really these inmates would be having these seeming simple but extremely rare in today's 'free society' in all spheres of life.

At July 27, 2013 at 11:21 AM , Blogger Learn Share and Care said...

Sivaram:can u share some more details on loose to learn model ?

At July 27, 2013 at 11:24 AM , Blogger Learn Share and Care said...

Suresh: thanks for sharing your thoughts

At July 27, 2013 at 11:27 AM , Blogger Learn Share and Care said...

Ravi: I guess that challenge is what makes the journey of our lives interesting.

At July 27, 2013 at 11:28 AM , Blogger Learn Share and Care said...

Hrishikesh: I am glad you found the points useful. Thanks.

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