IP2 is a 40-year-old Creche Peer Leader who loves to spend time with children. She is a loving mother to 3 daughters, the youngest of which accompanied her to prison because she was just a year old. In 2014, when IP2 came to Prison, she was, but naturally depressed as she stayed within the barracks. Unable to comprehend the environment of the prison, she grew violent and aggressive and faced medical issues like increased blood pressure and mental health issues like hallucinations. On recommendation of the prison administration, she met with a psychiatrist and shared her experiences and problems.
Her toddler became a part of the Early Childhood Care & Development Program under the 0-3 years category, through which she remained connected with India Vision Foundation. Upon counselling and connecting with the Program Coordinator at the prison, IP2 realized the psycho-social impact and vulnerability of her daughter within prison and decided to send her daughter to her sister-in law as she could be a better guardian. Once her daughter left, IP2 withdrew from the Creche and activity center of India Vision Foundation and restricted herself to barracks. Separation from her daughters and their well-being constantly distressed her. The project coordinator contacted her again and regularly counselled her for 2 years. Initially, she began attending awareness sessions and group counselling but later she was motivated to join the Creche Program to teach children.
As she started spending time with the children, her focus shifted from the absence of her daughters towards the education and holistic development of children. Despite the separation, the Creche became an outlet to connect with them and since then her mental health has improved significantly. She reports lesser incidents of hallucination and depressive episodes.
Currently an undertrial under IPC 420, IP2 spends her entire day at the activity center. As a Peer Leader of Early Childhood Care & Development Program of India Vision Foundation, she teaches 21 children, supervises the activities according to the curriculum of the program and keeps check on the meal plan as per the guidelines laid down by the Model Prison Manual. She is meticulous and responsible in managing the tasks assigned to her. She regularly participates in Dance, Nukkad Natak, and Yoga sessions and other cultural and educational programs. Her efforts to nurture and look after the Creche as well as her talent have been appreciated by the prison management and other inmates.
A multitalented and hardworking person, she maintains all records about children with respect to their cognitive, language, social and physical needs and she pays attention to the interests and needs of every child. She finds solace in being with the tender ones. IP2’s journey is a story of a mother who got separated from 3 daughters but with right counselling, love, and appreciation, became a guardian to 21 children!