Mangaluru, Nov 12, 2016: PMI, Prison Ministry India, a national voluntary organisation, which has been working for the release, renewal and rehabilitation of prison inmates, victims’ families and their children trough out India for at least 3 decades, opened it’s 5th Karnataka State convention at Shanthi Kiran, Bajjodi, in Mangaluru, November 11, Friday.
The last convention to be held here was in 2003. Delegates from across Karnataka are attending the two day convention which will hold it’s valedictory today, November 12.
While Mangalore diocese Bishop Rev Dr Aloysius Paul D’Souza presided over the inaugural programme, Udupi diocese Bishop Rev Dr Gerald Isaac Lobo was the chief guest. MLC & Karnataka Legislative Council Chief Whip, Ivan D’Souza; MLA & State Legislative Backward Class & Minority Welfare Committee Chairman, J R Lobo; PMI Co-founder Rev Francis Kodiyan MCBS; and PMI National Co-ordinator Rev Sebastian Vadakumpadan were guests of honour.
Speaking at the inaugural function, MLC, Ivan D’Souza, Government Chief Whip in the Legislative Council siad that it is an urgent need for government to update the laws of the land in the modern context and provide counseling to prisoners towards the transformation of their minds. He said that he will raise a question in the council in this regard. Very important was also a modern and updated justice delivery mechanism. He said his long experience as a lawyer confirms that many people, form all walks of life, are keen that good should be the lot of those incarcerated and helping them is vital.
Udupi Bishop Rev Dr Gerald Isaac Lobo said that all persons commit mistakes. But, only some are in jails and some are not. Hence, one should not look down upon prisoners. Jail inmates too have rights to have a life of dignity. All service minded volunteers have to be humble he stressed.
Mangaluru Bishop Rev Dr Aloysius Paul D’Souza presided over the inaugural function and lauded the efforts of PMI, Prison Ministry India for making efforts towards instilling hope in the lives of prisoners by visiting them and their families, speaking to them and trying to help them. He mentioned that people of all faiths and groups are showing awareness to the welfare those behind bars in the region and authorities too show concern.
PMI National Coordinator Rev. Sebastain Vedakumpadan explained the need to construct bridges between the minds of people inside and outside the jails. Forgiveness brings a good future for the victims, he an advocate said. His long involvement with prisons and prisoners points out that much needs to be done in the cause of this mission which is very relevant to all humans in the modern times.
MLA J R Lobo said that if a person confined to prison transforms himself into an enlightened being, after coming out of the prison he will enlighten others too and the world can be a better place. "Instead of building buildings that are often seen empty, building up people in need can bring a world of good to all in the country.’
In a ’work shop’ that followed in the day, Rev Clifford Fernandes, a prison volunteer even as a student, now a professor and well known speaker, in all simplicity took up the topic on the role of the society. He widened the theme of ’The world stands in need of Liberation’. He pointed to the facts that PMI is yet a ’frontier mission’ and has to be taken forward and enlarged. he said that all those who have to visit prisons must do so with care, attention and abiding by laws. He went through the causes of crime and criminality. If there are no suffering people here, the happy ones can’t go to heaven. He exhorted all to be mindful and concerned about all who suffer around them and wok for up-liftment.