Brand Tihar has arrived.The jail’s factory that employs only inmates, after reporting a turnover of Rs 5 crore in 2008, has also bagged an international certificate of compliance for its high standards. The biscuits and namkeen produced at the factory have already made a name for themselves in the market. Others like the paper, carpentry and tailoring unit are also doing very well.
The 550 inmates who work at the factory may not have been model citizens in the outside world, but they are definitely making the authorities proud. They are dreaming big too.
“In the coming financial year, we have set a target of Rs 7 crore,” said Rajesh Goyal, superintendent of jail no 2, that houses the jail factory.
The factory was recently awarded a certificate of compliance by the International Certification Services for maintaining high standards of quality, environmental and occupational health and safety management system.
“We have installed the required number of fire fighting equipment in the factory premises. Also, four hundred of our inmates were trained in fire-fighting skills,” Goyal said.
The factory, built in an area of over ten acres, appears like any industrial unit.
A central office handles the administration, which is largely done by senior convicts under the supervision of a handful of jail staff. The factory is divided into seven units — weaving, carpentry, chemical, tailoring, paper/stationary, bakery and pottery. Each unit has a supervisor and an in-charge.
Some convicts even admitted there also exists the usual rivalry and competition among them to become supervisors and in-charge of units.
“Two convicts who worked as in-charge of two units have been set free by the Lieutenant Governor this year for their outstanding contribution to the jail factory and their conduct,” said Pradeep Sharma, the deputy superintendent of the jail factory.