Clutching a blue plastic folder that had his CV in it and murmuring a prayer, 25-year-old Ram Kumar sat his first job interview on Friday afternoon.
The only thing unusual about the interview was the setting — Capital’s Tihar Jail. Kumar, being tried for murder, managed to impress three employers and was among 14 inmates to get job letters on the spot.
“Twenty-nine others will get their letters by Monday,” said jail’s spokesperson Sunil Gupta. It means a 100% placement record, he said. Forty-three inmates appeared for interviews conducted by 10 private firms that came scouting to the country’s biggest jail.
“The employers will decide the salaries after consulting the inmates,” said Gupta. The package could vary from Rs10,000-Rs25,000 a month.
The interviews are part of an effort to ensure that after release — those selected on Friday have six to 12 months of time left to serve — the inmates have a secure livelihood and don’t turn to crime.
Kumar had offers from JRA & Associates, Vedanta Foundation and Creative Innovation. He’s likely to join JRA, a chartered accounting firm, as a research associate. Michael Pinto, a murder convict, was picked by Agarwal Packers and Movers as an executive manager.
Paresh Singh was asked if he would be a data entry operator in Mumbai. “I’d love to. It is my home town.” The new hires had only one request: their stint in prison should remain a secret.
(Names have been changed)