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I want to be a social worker, says Nalini

By Swapna Tarafdar
January 31, 2010 15:10 IST

Nalini, who is serving a life sentence in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, aspires to be a social worker if she is released from Vellore Central Prison, where she has been lodged for the last 19 years. Nalini, who has sought premature release, does not want to go back to her family life and wants to work for women, her counsel S Duraisamy said.

"She will not go back to family life. She wants to become a social worker and work for the poor and downtrodden women," S Duraisamy, counsel for Nalini since 1991, said.

Asked about Priyanka Gandhi's visit to Nalini in 2008, he said they had spent nearly an hour together discussing a number of issues.

"Priyanka had a misconception that Nalini might know the reason as to why her father was killed. But since Nalini did not know anything, they ended up discussing their children's schooling and all that," he said.

Confined to a 6-feet by 10-foot cell in Vellore Central Prison, Nalini spends most of her time studying. In the past 19 years, Nalini has acquired nearly seven degrees and diplomas in different courses which include PG diploma in journalism, alternative to violence project, community polytechnic scheme, certificate in computer, certificate in food and nutrition, PG diploma in computer application and masters in computer application.

"Till now, Nalini is not treated like any other convict. She is more or less confined to solitary confinement, even after the commutation of her death sentence. Nobody is allowed to mingle with her except jail officials," Duraisamy said.

"Within that room, she has to cook too. There is no window. The door is an iron bar. Thanks to this solitude, she has been able to accomplish so many degrees," he said.

Duraiswamy said, "Nalini was happy when Priyanka Gandhi had come over to meet her. She had said that had Priyanka not been aware of her good conduct in the jail and that her involvement in Rajiv Gandhi's assassination not being that serious, she (Priyanka) would not have visited her and the government would not have allowed them to meet in a small room with no security inside."

Swapna Tarafdar In New Delhi
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