Lights, idols made by GB Nagar jail inmates in high demandUpdated: Oct 25, 2019, 18:52 IST
GREATER NOIDA: Thirty-two-year-old Deepak is busy these days. This undertrial inmate at Gautam Budh Nagar district jail wants to earn more so that his family has no financial difficulties in celebrating Diwali.
Deepak is one of 35 inmates who make different types of LED decorative lights, bamboo lights, LED trees, tube lights, panel lights and study lamps at the skill development centre in Gandhi Chakra (ward no 2), established by a start-up VS Energy Harmonization & Automation Private Limited.
“By making these lights, I earn at least ₹200 a day. Tomorrow, I will my total earnings of ₹8,400 for this month and I will send it to my wife,” he said.
CEO of VS Energy Vivek Singh is also happy with the commitment and punctuality of jail inmates.
“They make beautiful lights, which have the highest demand in Punjab, Rajasthan, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and other states. During this peak festive season, our average daily sale is ₹75,000, in which products made by the inmates of GB Nagar jail accounts for 90%. For last six months, we are also exporting products made by inmates to foreign countries,” he said.
He said his company is also providing jobs to inmates after their release.
“Dharmendra, Niranjan, Nishant and Mahakal are four former inmates who are now leading lives as successful entrepreneurs through our association,” he claimed.
Adjacent to this decorative lights making unit is the sculpture section, in which another 35 undertrial inmates are working. The unit was started by Energinee Innovations, in collaboration of Birla Institute of Management Technology (BIMTECH), Greater Noida, and Ranganathan Society for Social Welfare and Library Development (RSSWLD).
At this unit, decorative and religious idols are being made from the waste of incense sticks and flowers, which is being collected from 52 temples across Delhi-NCR. Inmate Sunil, who is busy making idols of Goddess Laxmi and Lord Ganesha, said he earns at least ₹300 per day.
Akash of Energinee said his main goal is to stop the waste from puja leftovers and flowers from reaching the rivers, lakes, and reservoirs, thereby contaminating them.
“We want to empower prison inmates by providing them employment. These prisoners are creating sustainable models of waste management,” he said.
Waste from incense sticks and flowers are recycled to create beautiful sculptures and artwork by inmates for the larger community.
Jailor Satya Prakash Singh believes that Akash has been able to create impactful change by providing employment to 22 prison inmates within a year.
“Eighteen inmates have been granted permanent bail and Akash has provided four of them with jobs with various NGOs. Through its initiatives, the team of six hopes to encourage people to adopt sustainable living practices,” he said.
The jailor further informed that one inmate Sanjay has become a sculpture trainer after being released from jail.
About the sale and demand of sculptures, Akash said these artworks are always in high demand among the urban class, particularly in foreign countries.
“We are exporting these niche products to foreign countries so that the whole world gets to know that our country has yet not given up the tradition of transforming ‘dacoit Ratnakar’ into ‘sage Valmiki’,” he said, alluding to the author of Ramayana, who legend has it was once a brigand before he turned a seer.