IndianOil and FIDE to hold Chess for Freedom Conference in Pune

IndianOil and FIDE to hold Chess for Freedom Conference in Pune

(From Left to Right Mr.Niranjan Godbole, GM Abhijit Kunte, Swati Sathe, Mr. Zubeen Garg seen in this photo )

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June 17, 2024 (Pune): The energy major, IndianOil partners with the International Chess Federation (FIDE) to organise the second in-person Chess for Freedom Conference from June 19-21, 2024, in Pune, India. The All India Chess Federation and Maharashtra Chess Association are co-organising the event on behalf of FIDE which will bring together experts from the global chess community to explore the use of chess as a rehabilitation tool for incarcerated individuals.

The conference will showcase the successful implementation of the Chess for Freedom project across different countries, feature case studies from national initiatives, and present real-life examples of forming prison chess teams competing in the intercontinental tournament.

“We want our inmates to lead respectable lives once they are out of jail. A sport can drive a change in approach and mentality. The expertise and ideas of Indian oil and our inmates have created history. They have achieved something even a normal person cannot accomplish,” Swati Sathe, Deputy Inspector General of Yerawada jail, said.

“Improvement and Rehabilitation is the motto of the jail and these inmates have proved that. Currently, 200 inmates are taking chess classes,” she further said.

The Indian Oil is the sponsor for the event. “The 2nd Chess For Freedom Conference begins on June 19. It will include interviews, discussions and seminars that will see experts from all around the world participating virtually,”  said Mr. Abhijeet Kunte, Chief Manager (Customer Service and Sports), IndianOil. Zubeen Garg (GM, Indian Oil, Western region), Mr. Niranjan Godbole, Hon Secretary of MCA was also present at the event.

As part of the event, a foreign delegation of the FIDE will visit the jail on June 19, 2024, at 10 am. They will meet the inmates who participated in the tourney and will play exhibition games with them. The next part of the conference will take place at the Hyatt Hotel.

 IndianOil constantly strives to bring positive social change through sports and contribute towards making India a sporting nation. IndianOil’s path breaking initiatives ‘Parivartan – Prison to Pride’, and ‘Nayi Disha’ reiterates IndianOil’s commitment to social responsibility and transformative change.
In October 2023, Yerawada Central Prison, Pune, trained by the IndianOil’s international players under Parivartan programme won gold for India by defeating the El Salvador team in the third ‘Intercontinental Online Chess Championship for Prisoners’. The Children Correctional Home team from Bhopal, India, achieved a remarkable victory by securing the Gold Medal in the Youth Category at the Intercontinental “Chess for Freedom” online chess championship for prisoners held in October 2023.

About Parivartan – Prison to Pride:
Launched in 2021 under the visionary leadership of IndianOil’s Chairman, Mr. Shrikant Madhav Vaidya, “Parivartan” aims to build confidence and enhance the well-being of prison inmates through sports. The initiative, spanning 83 prisons and has impacted over 4100 inmates in seven transformative phases. In collaboration with the prison department of respective state police, IndianOil provided coaches to train inmates in various sports disciplines, including Badminton, Chess, Carrom, Table Tennis, Kho-Kho, and basketball. The program is not only a testament to the power of sports in rehabilitation but also serves as a vital component of IndianOil’s commitment to societal well-being. The initiative aligns with the belief that making a difference in inmates’ lives can lead to societal gains upon their return to mainstream life.

About ‘Nayi Disha’ for Juvenile Inmates:
Following the success of the Parivartan programme, ‘Nayi Disha’ was conceptualised to catalyse the integration of juveniles with society by changing their course of life towards leading their lives with dignity and respect. The ‘Nayi Disha’ outreach programme is extending benefits to over 2200 young inmates at 45