“Man becomes great exactly in the degree in which he works for the welfare of his fellow-men” — Mahatma Gandhi
ELVIS P. GOMES, Inspector General of Prison, Goa | Inspector General of Prisons Sr. Mary Jane started the Prison Ministry, Goa Unit, in 1997 after she was appointed as the area co-ordinator by the Central Office of Prison Ministry India. She worked in close co-ordination with the Prison Authorities to ensure that the prisoners are treated as human beings with dignity. She worked tirelessly towards imparting education, adult literacy classes, vocational skills such as tailoring, handicrafts, flower, candle and paper bags making, counselling, sports activities including tournaments, technical trades such as plumbing and electrical wiring, computer training, painting, etc.
She played a big role in setting up a centre of IGNOU and NIOS within the jail premises with the assistance of the jail administration. Inmates are now able to appear for their examination within the premises without being taken to Examination Centres outside the complex. This facility has resulted in several inmates enrolling themselves in different disciplines provided both by IGNOU and NIOS and she had the privilege to see some of them pass out in flying colours in the very first such exam held in December’2015.
By her sheer dedication and commitment towards the welfare of the convicts, their families as well as the victims, she has carved out a niche for herself as the Angel of Prisons. In recognition of her efforts, the Directorate of Women & Child Development, Government of Goa, honoured her with prestigious RAJYA MAHILASANMAN AWARD for the Year 2014. She worked for the rehabilitation and resocialisation of prisoners after their release trying to build up an acceptance both by the family members and the victims.
She believed that strength does not come from physical capacity but comes from an indomitable will. Her death is a great loss to the initiatives started with the Jail Administration. The convicts and undertrials whom she tended with assiduously loving care will miss her. This void will take a long time to fill. The Prisons Department salutes her as she takes the final journey to her eternal home.