Inmates’ children arrive at prison for DashainSeven children, below age 12, have arrived at Birgunj Prison in Parsa district to celebrate Dashain festival with their mothers serving terms.
Seven children, below age 12, have arrived at Birgunj Prison in Parsa district to celebrate Dashain festival with their mothers serving terms.
The children arrived in Birgunj Prison on Thursday. The children live in Kathmandu-based Prisoners Assistance Nepal (PAN), a non-profit organisation that cares for children of convicts serving prison terms.
PAN Chairperson Indira Ranamagar handed over the children to the prison administration. The children will celebrate Dashain with their respective mothers and stay in the prison for two weeks.
Roshani Mandal, 12, a resident of Murli, Birgunj, arrived to the prison with two younger brothers and a cousin. Her parents, uncle and aunt are serving terms in Birgunj prison since long.
Roshani lives at PAN since 2010. Every year she visits her mother in prison to celebrate Dashain. She does not staying in the prison during the festival. “I’m destined to do so. We have to stay in the prison to meet with our parents,” she said.
Roshani and six other children will stay in the prison with their mothers. She can also meet with her father who is an inmate in a separate block for men.
Most mothers of the seven children are serving life imprisonment. Unlike Roshani, other children do not have fathers and those who have are under the care of their inmate mothers. Whatever the reasons, these children cannot enjoy festivals and vacations in a free environment.
According to Ranamagar, she escorts the children to their mothers every year as they search or want to meet their parents during festivals.“It is essential to unite the children with their parents at least once a year so that their family relationships do not deteriorate. This will have a positive effect on the guardians so that they will not engage in any criminal activities in the future thinking about their children,” said Ranamagar. She added that it is the right of the children to stay with their parents, especially with mother.
Prison administration officials have made necessary arrangements for children celebrating Dashain in prison.Prison Information Officer Ganesh Bhandari said, “We cannot stop children if they come to prison to stay with their mothers during the festival.”
The children will also receive ration during their stay in prison as per the existing legal provision, he said.