KOCHI: The initiative by the Kerala Prisons and Correctional Services Department to market products made by jail inmates has proven successful many a time.
Most of the items produced by jailbirds, including chapathi, idli, curries and handicraft, turned out to be money-spinners, giving a tough time to the established traders in the market.
The Prison Statistics India - 2014 published by the National Crime Records Bureau under the Union Ministry of Home Affairs shows that Kerala stays second when it comes to gross earnings (`2,143.6 lakh) from products made by prison inmates.
“It is a matter of pride for us. All the correctional and rehabilitation programmes implemented for prisoners in the State are skill-oriented. The aim is to instil various skills among prisoners that would help them in the future. Once prisoners complete their prison term, they should be able face the challenges outside. The skills are instilled among them by professionals,” said Director General of Prisons and Correctional Services Loknath Behera.
He said that the Department had earned around `8.5 crore last year from the sale of jail-made chapathis alone, and that plans were afoot to launch new ventures like stitching of designer garments.
“Under the plan, designer garments will be made by inmates of the Attakulangara Women’s Jail and the Thiruvananthapuram Central Jail. The products will hit the market on November 17. Initially, 40 designs will be made available,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Jail Department is planning a slew of initiative like setting up electronic workshops, organic farming and data entry and web designing training by C-DAC in jails across the State. Also, prisoners will be assigned digital identity and provided with email IDs.