Home Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan will inaugurate ‘Freedom Park’, a recreational facility that offers a breezy garden ambience, along with special vegetarian and non-vegetarian food at affordable rates. Located inside the Viyyur Central Jail, the park will be maintained and run by prisoners, who will also be in charge of the food served there. Lush green surroundings, fancy lights, cosy modern seating, the charming ambience is expected to make the park very popular among the localites.
“This is for the first time in the state that a park is being set up for the pubic inside a jail where they can relax with their friends and family members and pamper their taste buds with a wide variety of seasonal Kerala cuisines prepared at the kitchens here to suit the dominant tastes of the state”, said M K Vinodkumar, Viyyur Central Jail superintendent. The 138-year-old park which was languishing in neglect has been rebuilt maintaining the existing trees. All utilities and amenities in the park are a contribution to support environmental causes. A jail-run counter has also been set up on the campus in the model of a Kettuvallam (traditional houseboat) from where the customer can buy food, confectioneries and ice-creams and so on, he said. A big water fountain in the model of a fish was also set up at the park by sculptors in the jail besides making small huts of woven coconut fronds. The park will also host official parties of jail officials. The jail authorities have also sought permission from the State Government to rent it out to the public to host parties here, he said, adding that an e-toilet would also be built here in cooperation with the Thrissur Corporation.
Further, a bakery unit has been established within the prison campus, the first of its kind in the state. Home Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan will inaugurate the bakery unit as well on Thursday, besides flagging off a mobile sale van to supply an array of jail products to canteens at various government hospitals and private eateries in the district. During the occasion, Mayor I P Paul will inaugurate work on the pig farm in the jail to produce biogas for the energy needs of the jail.
The jail authorities say that a transformation of sorts has been taking place here for the past few years. Earlier, the authorities had started a laterite excavation project on jail premises besides the production of ‘freedom’ chappathi along with egg curry, tomato curry and chilli chicken. The Viyyur Cental Prison had also turned to a major supplier of flowers with the inmates in the jail cultivating different kinds of flowers in the 4-acre garden spanned on the jail premise.
The convicts in the industrial unit will get wages for the work they do and the accumulated wages will be given to them when they are released, said Vinodkumar.