An arrangement between Sabarmati Jail in Ahmedabad and Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) could very soon see food prepared by jail inmates being served on superfast trains like t
An arrangement between Sabarmati Jail in Ahmedabad and Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) could very soon see food prepared by jail inmates being served on superfast trains like the Rajdhani Express. Jail authorities said IRCTC had responded positively to their proposal and would be visiting jail on Friday to inspect the kitchen and gauge their supplying capacity before finalising the deal.
The kitchen at Sabarmati Jail is part of the jail industry initiative by B.S. Jebalia, Inspector General of Police (Prisons), Gujarat, and currently offers kitchen services in Ahmedabad apart from selling bhajiyas outside jail premises. The jail industry initiative has nearly 900 jail inmates employed in various manufacturing activities, including the kitchen.
Speaking about the kitchen services underway within jail premises, Sunil Joshi, Superintendent of Police, Sabarmati Jail, said that the jail had 60 inmates working in the kitchen, which prepared food not only for inmates but also food and bakery products to be sold on a regular basis to the general public. “The profit from the sale of food and bakery products goes into a welfare fund set up for jail inmates and some part is also earned by them as wages,” said Mr Joshi, adding that the proposal to have a tie-up with IRCTC was mooted by J.S. Ventures, an organisation conducting various welfare programmes for jail inmates as CSR activity.
Confirming the same, Sajid Sayyed, MD, J.S. Ventures, said, “After seeing the proficiency of the kitchen and the amount of products they were making regularly, we initiated a dialogue with IRCTC and suggested the use of food and bakery products prepared by inmates on express trains. The suggestion was readily accepted by them and members of IRCTC’s committee, after confirming the capacity, will decide on the volume of the order to be placed with the jail for use on Rajdhani and other trains.”
Rajesh Rana, Additional General Manager, IRCTC west zone, said that they had received a proposal from Sabarmati Jail, and committee members would be visiting the jail on Friday. “The committee will be checking whether the jail kitchen has the capacity to cater to the requirements of Rajdhani on a regular basis. Only after the committee submits its report, a decision on what products will be bought from the jail kitchen will be taken,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr Jebalia, said, “The jail is not a place for retribution but a place for correction. We are trying to teach the inmates a trade and vocation so that they can be useful citizens of the society after being released. Once the IRCTC starts buying food products from jail, corporate houses will also be asked to avail of tiffin services. Many inmates are being trained in specific fields as per the requirements of businesses that are willing to hire them after they are released.”