The Bhondsi Jail is gearing up to open a bakery where inmates will turn chefs to produce items such as bread, cookies, cakes and patties. The bakery unit will be open in the first week of November on the jail premises. Initially, the bakery will only cater to the inmates and jail officials.
The jail administration has invested R 10 lakh from the prison welfare fund for the installation of machines in the bakery unit.
Harinder Singh, superintendent of Bhondsi jail, said, “We have bought the best equipment and the installation work will start soon. We have started training prisoners in various skills needed at the bakery since they are completely raw in this field. Initially, we will train not more than 10 inmates to use the machines and once they are skilled enough, they will provide in-house training to other inmates. The training will be for one month.”
“We visited several bakeries and tried to get the best ovens that would be handy for inmates. We will provide regular training as the idea is to provide the skill to educated or uneducated unemployed youth for self-employment once they are out of prison,” Singh said.
Initially, 10 machines with different functions have been bought from a Delhi-based company. The machines will be installed and they will become fully operational by the first week of November.
“Our aim is to fulfil the requirement of the prison by providing bread to inmates instead of procuring it from outside. Depending on the quality of products, the authorities will decide on selling it outside,” Singh said.
The inmates will be paid according to their work. Around R 100 will be paid per day for an eight-hour shift and the work will be rotated. Those interested in working and earning pocket money will be given priority, Singh said.
Apart from the bakery items, the inmates are also making chocolates and jute bags. The inmates are also engaged in other activities such as tailoring and hairdressing.