KOLKATA: Once the project of making school uniform by inmates, lodged in prisons across West Bengal, becomes successful, police personnel in the state may soon wear uniforms tailored by jail inmates.
"The jail inmates are now being trained to make school uniform. In the next phase, we plan to make uniform for state police personnel," acting Correctional Homes Minister Rajib Banerjee told PTI.
In a bid to help jail inmates find a source of livelihood after they complete their term, the Jail Department for the last several years has been providing vocational training.
Banerjee said for the last few years they trained them in acquiring bakery skills and so they were making cakes and breads now.
"We then imparted training to them in making and stitching clothes," he said.
"The project for making school uniform for a private English medium school has already started. Let's see if it's a success then we might move on to the next stage," Arun Kumar Gupta, Director-General of Correctional Services.
Gupta, however, told PTI that nothing was finalised yet.
According to Jail Department sources, new sewing machines have already been placed in central correctional homes across the state.
It was decided that the officials of the six central correctional homes spread across the state would get in touch with nearby schools and convince them to allow the inmates to make uniforms for school children," a senior official of the department said.
Jail authorities took up this idea after noticing that a lack of proper market or bulk orders were the main challenges faced by the inmates after being trained in tailoring and stiching clothes.
Another official said that the problem of finding a big market would not be there in the project to stitch uniform for personnel in various government services like police, forest, jail, fire as well as civic volunteers.
"The state has to provide a new pair of clothes to those in uniformed serviced," the official explained.