Meerut jail inmates to churn out sports goodsBy Asit Srivastava, IANS
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
MEERUT - From behind bars, they will churn out cricket pads, footballs and badminton racquets. Inmates of Meerut District Jail will now produce sports goods, gaining skill and money in the process to assist their families.
Three-four sports goods companies have already been enlisted for the innovative scheme by the jail authorities which will see inmates earn a regular monthly income.
“Be it the stitching of gloves, cricket pads, footballs or knitting of badminton racquets, all would be done by the inmates, which would then be supplied to these companies,” Meerut District Jail’s Senior Superintendent R.K. Kesarwani told IANS on phone.
“The best thing about the project is that it will enable the inmates to provide financial assistance to their family members. On most occasions, families have to deal with severe economic stress when the sole bread winner of the family is jailed,” he added.
According to officials, at present the inmates in Uttar Pradesh are entitled to a meagre amount of Rs.10-18 per day for the menial jobs they do inside prison.
Officials expect the new project to help inmates earn anywhere between Rs.3,000 and Rs.4,000 per month.
“Besides extending financial help, the inmates would also be able to utilise the income for hiring lawyers for their cases,” said another jail official.
The jail administration has launched a training programme to impart the technical knowhow required for manufacturing sports goods.
“The training programme is under way. It was started Jan 27. Our objective is to enrol the maximum number of inmates,” said Kesarwani.
At present around 50 inmates are undergoing the training for stitching footballs. There are around 2,000 inmates in the Meerut District Jail.
“We are receiving an overwhelming response from the inmates as well as the sports companies. While the inmates are willing to undergo the training lessons for generating a regular income, sports companies too are coming to us in search of labour.
“I am sure the project will be a hit and will be followed by others also,” said Kesarwani, who preferred not to disclose the names of the sports companies that have agreed to be a part of the project.
Keeping the successful implementation of the project in mind, the jail administration has even constituted a body of inmates.
“While maximum members of the group will be inmates, a few jail officials are also part of it. Its main objective will be to maintain records of the earnings and monitoring of the assignments given by the sports manufacturing units,” an official said.
(Asit Srivastava can be contacted at email@example.com)