FIDE and Team IndianOil meets Chess gold winning team of Yerwada Central Prison ahead of 2nd Chess for Freedom Conference

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June 19, 2024 (Pune): At the outset of the 2nd Chess for Freedom Conference in Pune, organized by FIDE in partnership with IndianOil, officials from both organizations visited Yerwada Central Prison. There, they interacted with the prison’s Chess team, which had won the gold medal for India in the third ‘Intercontinental Online Chess Championship for Prisoners organized by FIDE. The team trains under IndianOil’s ‘Parivartan- Prison to Pride’ initiative.

Ms. Rashmi Govil, Director (HR), IndianOil, Mr. Mikhail Korenman, Social Commission Councillor, FIDE, Mr. Andre Voegtlin, Social Commissioner Chair, FIDE, Mr. Amitabh Gupta, (IPS), Additional Director General of Police of Prison and Correctional Services, senior officials from Prison department and IndianOil were present on the occasion.
Representatives from the jail authorities of other countries also joined the dignitaries.
Welcoming the FIDE delegates and IndianOil officials, Amitabh Gupta, said, “We have started introducing various activities in prison to foster prisoner reform, and our team winning gold after chess training has been instrumental in facilitating these reforms.”

Mr. Mikhail Korenman, Social Commission Councillor, FIDE, appreciated the jail authorities and IndianOil for their support of the Chess for Freedom initiative. “We are privileged to start our conference by meeting the winning team. Indian Oil has been a great partner in bringing about social change in society,” he added in his address.

Sharing her thoughts, Ms Rashmi Govil, Director (HR), IndianOil, said, “We launched ‘Parivartan- Prison to Pride’ and ‘Nayi Disha’ because we believe in giving second chances and using sports as a tool for reformation. The gold medals won by the Yerwada Central Jail team and the Bhopal Juvenile Team in the early years of these initiatives provide immense impetus to the program.”

She further shared about IndianOil’s initiative of Umeed- A Hope, prison retail outlets, operated by some of the current and former inmates.

On the occasion, a special friendly chess game was played by foreign delegates and IndianOil officials with male and female inmates of Yerwada Central Jail who are being trained by IndianOil’s Parivartan programme.

Mr. Zubeen Garg,
General Manager (Corporate Communications), Western Region, IndianOil