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Temple Consecration within Precinct of Mauritius Prison

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MAURITIUS, February 21, 2014( Le Mauricien): A Tamil-style Hindu temple was consecrated in the precinct of the new high-security Melrose Prison in the presence of representatives from religious bodies of surrounding villages, members of non-governmental organizations as well as executives of the prison. The new prison now has four places of worship, two of them Hindu, for prisoners. The inmates are free to practice their religion and have access to recognized representatives of their respective faiths.

According to the Commissioner of Prisons, Jean Bruneau, spiritual well-being helps an inmate to reflect on the wrongs he has committed and turn a page in his life. “Spirituality will also help to change his behavior and to reconcile with himself, others and God,” he says. The Commissioner cited a wise saying of Saint Avvaiyar “Kovil ila ouril iroukavendam” which translates as “Never live in a place where there is no place of worship.” He argues that a place of worship is a prominent landmark where people meet, pray, socialize and can also benefit from spiritual guides and moral values. Emphasis is also placed on how to behave and to show respect in society as a good citizen. Spiritual well- being brings a social reorientation and assists inmates to rediscover hope, self-dignity, love and compassion for others. Belief in God transforms his heart, his character and personality, which is conducive to rehabilitation.

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