NIZAMABAD: Inmates of the district jail have been serving the students of Nizamabad by creating benches, bookshelves, and chairs for them. These amenities are manufactured on the jail premises and supplied to primary schools and high schools in the district as well as Telangana University. This is not only leading to the inculcation of good conduct among prisoners but also helping them earn money. The Nizamabad district jail has 231 prisoners in all, 60 of whom are in steel works, eight in the nursery, 22 in an open semi-prison, and 47 in other works.
The prisoners produce furniture to meet the requirements of schools and colleges. These goods are sold for much less than the market price, with a nominal 10 per cent profit margin for the prisons department and 10 per cent markup for the payment of wages to the inmates. Each prisoner is paid Rs 70 per day as wages, and he is entitled to receive overtime benefits if he works for more than six hours a day.
Speaking to this newspaper, 41-year-old prisoner Anand (name changed) said that he had earned Rs 48,000 as wages by working on the production of furniture. “We are happy to serve educational institutions by providing them with furniture,” he said. He added that the wages he earned were transferred to his family members. Former district collector Yogita Rana had allotted Rs 2 crore for the setup of machinery in the district jail to enable prisoners to be gainfully employed.
She had directed government schools to purchase benches and chairs from the district jail and cancelled the tenders awarded to private parties in order to encourage the jail authorities. A jail officer said that they also supplied uniforms to students. “The steel factory, nursery and the tailoring unit provide regular employment to the prisoners,” he said. They had sufficient demand from gover-nment institutions and that they were not interested in the selling their goods in an open market, he added....