He plans to raise 100 chickens of the White Rock breed, with their plume of brilliant white feathers, each of which could produce over 250 eggs a year, according to him.
Ram Kumar (name changed), a murder convict who has spent around 10 years in Tihar jail, wants to switch to poultry farming after his release to earn a livelihood for his family. Thanks to a six-day training module he attended for two hours from Monday to Saturday in a makeshift classroom, Kumar is now upbeat about turning over a new leaf as a trained poultry farmer, according to a jail source who spoke to him.
Kumar, along with 40 other convicts, was part of a team selected by the jail authorities to undergo a short-training course in poultry farming provided by the Central Poultry Development Organisation (CPDO) of the central agriculture ministry at the prison complex, said the source.
The key points that the CPDO instructor, a veterinary doctor, had focused on at the poultry course were provision of ventilation, mud-floor, and adequate temperature inside the area housed by the chickens among others.
"The CPDO had approached the jail administration to instruct willing inmates in poultry management and production as a vocational skill. It is also our endeavour always to equip inmates with vocational skills that can help them in earning a livelihood and rejecting crime after their release from the prison," said the source.
"We had selected such inmates who own some land and might look at poultry farming as a source of income after their release. The CPDO also gave a stipend of Rs.600 to each of them and a certificate on completion of the course," said Tihar's spokesperson Sunil Gupta.
According to him, the CPDO certificate will help Kumar and his course-mates get loans for poultry farming with a subsidy of 25%.