The Telegraph
Wednesday , May 14 , 2014
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Jail counter to showcase inmates’ handiwork

- Incense sticks, blankets, rakhis will be up for sale from next month

Creativity sells.

In an attempt to help inmates become self-reliant, Dhanbad Divisional Jail administration will soon set up a permanent sale counter on the prison premises that will showcase products made by the jailbirds.

Construction work of the counter that will come up near the jail’s main gate is almost over. It is likely to be opened by next month. Set up at a cost of about Rs 5.5 lakh, the counter will sell products made by prisoners of not only Dhanbad Divisional Jail, but also 35 other prisons across Jharkhand.

Dhanbad jail superintendent S.C. Jha said that almost 99 per cent of the construction has been completed. “Only some finishing work is pending and we will open the sale counter as soon as the building division hands it over to us,” said Jha.

An ex-inmate of the prison will be deputed at the counter. The money generated by the sale of these products will go to Prisoners’ Welfare Fund that sponsors various training programmes at the jail.

Notably, various skill development programmes have been organised by Dhanbad jail administration for its 1,100 undertrials. For instance, women jailbirds leant to stitch, while their male counterparts mastered the trick to assemble electrical gadgets.

“This apart, we had earlier organised a workshop on making glassware items. The training was conducted with help of local NGO Jan Shikshan Sansthan on the jail premises,” said Jha.

Asked what kind of products will be up for grabs, Jha said various household items such as incense sticks, blankets, rakhis, wedding cards, visiting cards etc would be available.

“Though we do not run any permanent production programme at our jail, unlike the one at Ranchi where a blanket making programme is conducted round the year, we will use the counter to sell the products made by inmates of other jails across the state,” Jha added.

Once this centre comes up, it will be the second such counter in the state. The first was set up at Ranchi jail about three years ago.

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