Hope Behind Bars

Posted by Spalding Hurst

January 9, 2023

Sister Roselyn Karakattu is a woman on a mission. As a nun and social worker, she has dedicated her life to helping others in need. And for the past several years, she has focused her efforts on a group of women in particular: those who are serving time in the state prison system in Gaya, India.

Every week, Sister Roselyn visits the prison, bringing with her a message of hope and a desire to help the women there turn their lives around. She works with them one-on-one, offering counseling, support, and guidance as they navigate the challenges of life behind bars.

But Sister Roselyn is not content to simply offer words of encouragement. She also knows that, in order for the women to truly succeed upon their release, they need to have the skills and resources necessary to make a new start. And so, she has worked tirelessly to set up programs and initiatives that help the women learn job skills that they can use in the marketplace when their sentences are completed.

From Inmate to Entrepreneur: One Woman’s Journey with Sister Roselyn’s Help

One such woman is Kamala. When Sister Roselyn first met her, Kamala was feeling lost and alone, unsure of what the future held. But with Sister Roselyn’s help, Kamala has discovered a new sense of purpose and direction. She has taken up the craft of handbag making, and today she is using that skill to earn a living and support herself and her family.

But Kamala is not just using her new job skill to benefit herself. She is also paying it forward, training other women she knows outside of the prison system how to make handbags as well. In this way, Sister Roselyn’s work is having a ripple effect, as the women she helps go on to help others.

Kamala had been in prison for 12 long years, and despite hiring several lawyers to help her case, she had been unable to secure a court hearing. Desperate and feeling hopeless, she turned to Sister Roselyn for help. Sister Roselyn went to the Gaya district court and presented all the necessary papers, but she too was unable to get a hearing for Kamala.

As she was about to give up, Sister Roselyn had a chance encounter with an alumnus of Nazareth Academy Gaya, a school run by the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. The alumni, who happened to be a judge, took pity on Kamala’s situation and agreed to set a hearing. At the hearing, the judge listened carefully to both sides and, after considering all the evidence, granted Kamala bail.

Sister Roselyn had the joy of breaking the news to Kamala that she was no more a prisoner. She was freed from prison on her birthday.

Kamala was overjoyed and grateful to Sister Roselyn and the judge for their help. She knew that without their intervention, she might have been stuck in prison for much longer. As she left the courthouse, she couldn’t wait to finally return home and start rebuilding her life with her new trade.

“I believe everything is possible with God and there is a time for anything under the sky. I can confidently say, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you achieve it,” says Sister Roselyn.

It is a testament to the power of Sister Roselyn’s dedication and the transformative impact that she is having on the lives of these women. Through her tireless efforts, Sister Roselyn is helping to give these women a second chance at life, and in doing so, she is making the world a better place for all.


  1. Martha Walsh SCN

    Roselyn how happy you must be and I am too! Love, Maartha

  2. Ann Palatty

    Congratulations, Roselyn. Your incredible efforts to free the prisoners and to give them a sense of dignity and self esteem began long ago in Nepal. May your achievements continue to show ripple effects as has been the case with Kamala.

  3. Maria Brocato

    My dear Roselyn, we are so proud and grateful for your ministry to the women of the Gaya prison.May you and they be blessed!

  4. sarita Manavalan, scn

    Congratulations, Roselyn! Thanks for giving the women a new life!

  5. Vinaya Chalil

    Congratulations Roselyn. You have touched the lives of many women like Kamala. God bless your compassion nd determination . We are proud of you.

    • Saly Tom

      Congratulations my sister.You are doing a great work

  6. rita puthenkalam

    Congratulations, Roselyn, for continuing the prison ministry you started in Kathmandu – now in Gaya.
    You remind me of my visits to Gaya prison and celebrating Women’s Day with the women prisoners of those years.

  7. Mary. K. A

    Well done…. Congratulations

  8. Sr. Deepti SCN

    Congratulations Roselyn! Yes, the universe conspires in helping you achieve it ….. Thank you for your passion in doing anything entrusted to you!

    • sarita Manavalan, scn

      Congratulations, Roselyn! God will reward you for giving the women a new life!

    • Rosita

      Congratulations Roselyn for the wonderful ministry of freeing women and preparing them with a trade. Rosita

      • Cicily

        Iam so proud of you My sister.Keep up the spirit. May God bless you.

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