This Rakshabandhan those who come to tie rakhis on the wrist of their brothers in district jail would not go empty handed. The sisters would be blessed, other than eternal, with gifts. Reason: The jail inmates have a variety of handicrafts and art works to choose as gift for their sisters.
All this has become possible due to the hard work of 15 female inmates, who are busy preparing rakhis, art work and handicraft items. These items can be bought by the male inmates as gifts for their sisters from the earnings they save in the custody.
To keep these goods affordable, their prices have been fixed according to the investment made in the raw materials. These rakhis and gift items can also be purchased by commoners as the jail department is organising a three-day craft fair outside the prison.
Forty-year-old Shalini (name changed) is one of the 15 female inmates who are busy making these products. According to Shalini, preparing gift items and rakhis is an opportunity to bless hundreds of brothers lodged inside the jail.
Another inmate Meena (name changed) said, "This work keeps us busy in the festive season and also helps us counter home sickness. We are really enjoying preparing these items as it has boosted our self-confidence. We take care that each gift item and rakhi is attractive enough to convey love for the sibling it has been purchased for," she said.
At present, 95 female jail inmates are engaged in different activities, out of which 15 inmates are preparing the rakhis and the gift items.
The district jail administration, which regularly organises various innovative programmes for the development and rehabilitation of prisoners has come out with this unique project this year.
"Life behind the bars affects psychology and we try to engage inmates in vocational work in order to divert their energies into constructive direction," said jail superintendent Shefali Rajesh.
"Apart from diverting their energies, the project helps to polish their skills as well as it will prove beneficial for their rehabilitation once they are released," Rajesh added.