Menu shift for jail inmates

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By Staff Reporter
  • Published 3.09.07
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No more tasteless, bland food for jail inmates.

The state prisons department has decided to make the inmates’ menu “more varied” and introduce “tasty” items.

Among the new items are eggs, soya bean, seasonal vegetables and chutneys of olive, pineapple or mango, as well as slices of onion and lemon as accompaniments to the meal.

“The existing diet has been continuing since the Raj. It’s time the menu was revised. The food should be tastier and more varied,” said jails minister Biswanath Chowdhury.

The new diet chart, prepared by a committee in consultation with dieticians, will be tabled before the minister on September 5 for approval.

A typical prison diet now starts with tea in the morning, followed by chira/muri and chhola or bread and ghugni for breakfast. Lunch at 11am comprises rice, daal, sabzi and tamarind chutney. Another round of tea is served at 4pm, followed by an early dinner (shortly after sunset) comprising roti, daal and sabzi.

Fish and meat is served once a week instead of vegetables.

The department had earlier earmarked Rs 25 for the daily diet of every prisoner, which is likely to go up once the menu is changed.

Minister Chowdhury has also proposed that the main kitchen of a prison, which cooks for about 1,000 people, be split into two or three units to ease the workload. “We want to start cookery programmes for prisoners in the jails. Trainers from the city’s catering institutes will conduct three-month courses for them, so they can prepare tasty and hygienic food,” said the minister.