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Chairman, IndianOil felicitates International Bronze Winning Indian Chess Team from Yerawada Prison, groomed under IndianOil’s Parivartan – Prison to Pride campaign

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Bhupen Goswami 

GUWAHATI : Mr S M Vaidya, Chairman, IndianOil, felicitated the six inmates from Yerawada Prison, Pune, who secured Bronze medal for India at the recently concluded Intercontinental’ Chess for Freedom’ Online Championship for Prisoners, organised by World Chess Federation (FIDE). This was the first time the tournament witnessed the participation of Indian Prison Teams, who competed with more than 85 teams from 46 countries. The participating Indian teams were groomed and trained under IndianOil’s “Parivartan- Prison to Pride” initiative which is the brainchild of Mr Vaidya. Under this outreach, IndianOil is facilitating training programs in various sports such as chess, basketball, badminton, volleyball and carrom across prisons in India to help improve the physical and mental well-being of inmates. During the occasion,

Mr Vaidya felicitated Mr Ketan Khaire, who played an instrumental role by imparting training to the jail inmates under the supervision of IndianOil. Mr Vaidya also honoured Mr Shivshankar Patil, Superintendent of Yerwada Jail and two other senior jail officials for supporting this unique cause. Speaking on the occasion, Mr Vaidya said, “The success of the brilliant Chess Team from Yerawada Jail reinforces our belief in the magical power of sports to inspire hope and optimism amidst the toughest challenges. We are committed to stewarding Parivartan forward and expanding the healing footprint of sports across our prisons”. Lauding the mental resilience of the inmates, Mr Vaidya said, “You don’t always have to make forward moves to win a game. Like chess, in life, too, you have to take a step back at times to move forward toward a better future.”

IndianOil, in association with the All India Chess Federation, selected the Indian teams for this Intercontinental Championship through the first ever “Parivartan – Prison to Pride Online Chess Tournament” wherein 20 Indian prisons took part. Teams from Pune and Prayagraj Prisons booked their berth for the Championship, while the Women & Juvenile teams from Tihar Jail qualified in their respective categories. Since its launch on 15th August 2021, IndianOil has covered 37 Prisons spanning 20 states and 5 Union Territories, coaching over 1750 inmates in three phases. Through this outreach, coaching facilities are being provided along with the equipment and kits to the participants. International-level sportspersons from IndianOil are supervising the programme.

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