Authorities of the jail department in Odisha Sunday launched an initiative of Indian Oil aiming to train prison inmates in specific sports.

The Parivartan-Prison to Pride programme will facilitate training in badminton, volleyball, chess, tennis, and carom across jails in the country to help improve the physical and mental well-being of prison inmates, especially during this pandemic period, an Indian Oil statement said.

During the four-week-long training, 129 jail inmates in various states will be coached in the basics of the sport, enabling them to participate in local competitions, besides recreation.

This initiative will also boost the participants' self-esteem and confidence, the statement said.

DIG Prisons (Headquarters) Subhakanta Mishra. Subhajit Ghosh, Chief General Manager and State Head, Indian Oil, were present while launching the initiative at the Special Jail here.

Saroj Kumar Baral, superintendent of Special Jail, Bhubaneswar, Debi Prasad Satpathy, CGM (HR), Indian Oil and Padmini Rout, Chess Grandmaster, were also there.

This initiative coincides with India's 75th Independence Day being celebrated as Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav.

Indian Oil will also provide the equipment and kits to the participants of the programme. International-level sportspersons from Indian Oil will steer the programme, the statement said.

IndianOil has been leading a number of social stewardship programmes across the country. Parivartan' initiative aims to build confidence and improve the well-being of prison inmates through sports , the statement said quoting Shrikant Madhav Vaidya, IOC Chairman.

In its first phase, Parivartan has been launched in Chanchalguda Central Jail (Hyderabad), Puzhal Central Jail (Chennai), Poojapura Central Jail (Trivandrum), Special Jail (Bhubaneshwar), and Circle Jail (Cuttack).

The programme aims to help inmates overcome the stigma associated with imprisonment and aid in their smooth reintegration into the society upon their release.

Currently, Indian Oil employs prison inmates and people who have finished their prison term as customer attendants at 30 retail outlets in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan, the statement said