The vocational training program targeting 5,000 prison inmates that was launched in February at the Welikada Prison will be carried out even amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, the Avant Garde Group said.
The "project on prison inmate rehabilitation through technical skills development for better social integration and employability", the brainchild of Avant Garde Chairman Nissanka Senadhipathi, was proposed to the government early this year with the intention of combating the drug menace and minimizing the number of crimes being committed in the country.
"The main aim of the project was to rehabilitate inmates through technical skills development and the assurance of gainful employment locally and overseas. The endeavour was aimed at minimizing crime in the country and to prevent individuals from ruining their lives due to impulsive acts. In turn, their contributions could be used for the greater prosperity and development of the country," the Avant Garde Group said.
Despite the global setback suffered due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic and the difficulties in continuing with a programme of this magnitude, Avant Garde reiterated that they were "prepared to overcome any challenge to move forward with the project for the development and prosperity of our motherland."
5000 loaves of bread!
During the last 45 days when the people in the country were badly affected by the Covid-19 outbreak, Avant Garde together with the Prisons Department launched a pilot project at the Welikada Prison where the inmates participated in a programme to bake 5,000 loaves of bread each day to be distributed free of charge among the poor and destitute.
"The success of the pilot project has further strengthened our “Project to eliminate the drug menace and other social ills through the rehabilitation of prison inmates by developing technical skills,” the Avant Garde Group said.