Bengaluru: Help for Bengalureans to go plastic free is coming from one of the unlikeliest quarters. The Bengaluru Central Prison has taken the initiative to train its inmates to make cloth and paper bags, which will help the city reduce the use of single-use plastics. After a successful pilot project, the Central Prison is working towards expanding this skill as a livelihood for its inmates.
Ms Latha R., Superintendent of Police, Bengaluru Central Prison, said, “A team of over 50 prison inmates has currently completed a pilot project of making 1,000 cloth bags for an investor. We are planning to expand this as a livelihood (for inmates) to reach out to supermarkets like Big Bazaar and malls for supplying paper and cloth bags produced in the prison.”
She said, “This is our contribution to society by imparting skills that promote sustainable living and we are gearing up to set an example.”
“We are training prison inmates, mostly women, to make paper bags and cloth bags. In return, they earn some money for the work,” said Ms Joyce, Member, Suruchi Empowering Women. “They are in the prison for mistakes they committed. This training will help them learn a skill which can help them earn a living after getting out of prison. Suruchi has also employed few women after their terms were over,” she said.
“The inmates are aware that plastic bags are banned and there is a demand for cloth bags. Such skills will be a big value addition for their future. For the rehabilitation of inmates, we have engaged NGOs to provide training and guide inmates to get employed in these specific skills,” said Ms Latha.
“It is wonderful that prisoners are being rehabilitated in society by integrating with a theme that encourages the shift from plastic bags to alternatives which are both permitted and sustainable. The stitching of cloth bags is excellent. It would be even better if it is from reused clothes,” said Ms Odette Katrak, social activist and co-founder, Beautiful Bengaluru.
While the country is campaigning to eradicate a list of six single-use plastics, Karnataka has already taken steps ahead to address this concern. The shift to paper and cloth bags is already evident in the city....