Representational image. Inmates of Central jails in Kerala will now make khadi fabric for sale to the Khadi Board (Pic. Courtesy wikimedia commons)
With a view to skill prisoners and make them gain self-respect and confidence through employment, the central prisons in Kerala will start production of khadi fabric. For this the prisons department has entered into a memorandum of understanding with the Kerala Khadi and Village Industries Board whereby the fabric produced by the inmates will be bought by the Board and sold through their retail outlets.
Talking to media, Balram Kumar Upadhyay, the Director-General of Prisons said this initiative was launched as part of the efforts to train the inmates in a particular skill and enable them to earn a decent wage.
The MoU provides for the supply of yarns to the prisons by the Board where trained prisoners will make fabric out of it to be bought by the Board.
The Board will pay the same remuneration which is given to other spinners and weavers. By adding perks to the basic wage which is given by the State Government, a spinner can earn up to Rs.10,000. The Khadi Board is finding out if there are any legal issues in giving extra perks to the inmates.
Besides buying the fabric, the Khadi Board at a later stage, plans to get ready-made shirts made by the inmates. The prisons department also wants to explore other clients who would be interested in buying products made by the inmates on the handlooms and power looms in the central prisons. These looms as per Upadhyay can be used to make pillows, pillow covers, garments, and bed sheets.