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In central jail of Nagpur, a city in the Indian state of Maharashtra, yoga means more than just stretching and meditating, it an “early release” ticket for the prisoners. Those, who practice yoga and successfully pass an exam, are eligible for early release from prison by three months.
According to the state government's directive, three months of an inmate's sentences will be pardoned if they practice yoga regularly and pass an exam, jail authorities announced on the occasion of International Yoga Day. The yoga exam consists of written and practical parts, conducted by the Patanjali Yoga Centre in May and October.
The scheme was introduced in January, and since then regular yoga training sessions have been held in the prison. A total of 191 inmates, including 167 males and 24 females, appeared for the yoga exam in May. Of them, 177 prisoners, 153 men and 24 women, have passed the tests and earned an early release.
International Yoga Day is celebrated on June 21 since it was instituted by the UN in 2015.
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