Gone are the days when prisoners used to complain about poor quality foods being served to them — leading by example, the Rohtak jail authorities have recently set up a canteen on the jail premises for inmates to relish foods of their choice.
The canteen is cashless for the inmates, who can order for various types of sweets, ice-cream, juice, soup, fruits by using their figure impression on a biometric machine installed at the counter and the bill amount will automatically be deducted from their accounts maintained by their family members.
“The canteen has become instant hit among the prisoners, who are showing keen interest in ice-cream, cold milk and juice to beat the sweltering heat, even as they have to wait in long queues,” jail superintendent Dayanand Mandola told Hindustan Times. “Even desi ghee is available for the inmates at the canteen,” he added.
The canteen has also provided a relief to the jail authorities, who have to depute guards for routine check-up of edibles brought by prisoners’ kin.
The decision to set up the canteen was taken after Amit Mishra, an undertrial at Gurgaon’s Bhondsi jail, who was acquitted later in a dowry death case, developed software to enable the prisoners to get fresh edibles on the jail premises by replacing the coupon system.
Mandola said, “Some items have been added to the jail canteen in view of growing demands by both prisoners and officials, who don’t need money all the time to by an edible.”
“Now, the prisoners can buy fresh fruits and milk and several other items as per their financial condition,” he added.