Jail Inmates of 20 Prisons participates in country’s first National Online Chess Tournament

Jail Inmates of 20 Prisons participates in country’s first National Online Chess Tournament

Pune(S.N): IndianOil,in association with All India Chess Federation (AICF) organised country’s first ever National Online Chess Tournament for jail inmates of 20 prisons across the country under its unique social initiative- “Parivartan” Prison to Pride sports training program. From this tournament two teams in Men category and one team each in Women and junior category shall represent Indian Prisons in the Intercontinental “Chess for Freedom Tournament” organised by World Chess Federation on 13-14 October 2022.

Mr. U P Singh, Executive Director I/c (Human Resources), IndianOil in the presence of Ms Dana Ozala Reizniece, Managing Director, International Chess Federation – FIDE; and Mr Bharat Singh Chauhan, Dy. President Asian Chess Federation inaugurated the online tournament. Also present on this occasion were senior officials of IndianOil, authorities from different prisons, Chess Coaches, Chess Arbiters, Indian Oil Chess Grandmasters, and Prison Inmates taking part in the Tournament.

Mr. UP Singh in his inaugural Address said, “On 15th August 2021 IndianOil had a dream to make a difference in the life of jail inmates. After more than one year of extensive sports training to jail inmates with help and cooperation of coaches, prison authorities, arbiters, IndianOil star sports persons, we are proud to host country’s first ever online chess tournament for jail inmates”. Ms. Dana Ozola, who virtually joined the inaugural event from Latvia, congratulated IndianOil for sustained effort in the field of social empowerment to prisoners through various games, including Chess. She said, “We welcome AICF and IndianOil to join hands with FIDE in this noble initiative in future also.’ For past two months, IndianOil Chess players along with external coaches have been imparting training sessions for the jail inmates at various prisons to train them for this National Chess Tournament.

Women Grandmaster Padmini Rout shared her unique experience of coaching the Prison Inmates. Shri Bharat Singh complemented IndianOil for Parivartan initiative and offered complete support from AICF and Asian Chess Federation. Mr. Ketan Khaire, National Chess Player and Head Coach while sharing his experience in training inmates of Yerwada Central Jail, Pune said, “I was surprised to witness active participation of jail inmates with 100% attendance in every session.”

Globally many countries are using sports for re-socialisation of its prison inmates with the objective of reincorporating them into society. In India also, on August 15, 2021, driven by a strong social conscience, Indian Oil Corporation Limited under leadership of our Chairman Shri Shrikant Madhav Vaidya embarked on a new social stewardship initiative, conceived, and aptly named “Parivartan – Prison to Pride”. This initiative came in the wake of India’s 75th Year of Independence, being celebrated as Azadi ka Amrut Mahotsav. Over 1,775 inmates in 37 prisons from 20 States and 5 UT have been coached in the basics of the Sport, enabling them to participate in local competitions, besides recreation.

In Maharashtra, at Pune Jail about 60 inmates and at Kolhapur about 45 inmates have been coached Volleyball, Carrom and Chess.

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