Convicts to be couturiers

Textiles Ministry to train Central Jail inmates

The Central Jail at Parappana Agrahara.

Trainers from the Union Ministry of Textiles will teach the nuances of the craft to the inmates. “We have been holding talks with the ministry officials in this regard. They have agreed to train the inmates free of cost. We hope to start the training classes in the next three months,” a senior officer of the Prisons Department told Deccan Herald.

In the first month, the proposed training will be imparted inside the jail. Candidates will be trained in batches and is proposed to be ToT (training for trainers) with the trainees becoming trainers for others. Thus, all the inmates could be trained, an officer said. The Department’s plan to turn prisoners into couturiers is also designed to provide adequate workload.

“The Karnataka Prison Manual, 1978, mandates six hours of daily physical work for the convicts. Workers are paid appropriately for their labour. Undertrials too can attend the classes, if they wish to,” Kuchanna Srinivas, Additional Director General of Police (Prisons), told Deccan Herald.

At present, more than 1,500 convicts are lodged in the Central Jail. They are engaged in different works like making incense sticks, carpentry, cooking, and so on. “Their workload, however, does not add up to six hours a day because of some difficulties. Hence, in order to make them work for the required hours, we approached the Ministry of Textiles which readily accepted the proposal. Once a few formalities are completed, classes will commence,” he added.

Talks with industries

According to the prisons chief, once the inmates complete their training, talks will be held with major apparel industries. “We will ask them to supply the raw material which will be stitched into readymade garments by the workers,” he explained.

Srinivas said the idea struck them during a visit to a few apparel industries. “There is a huge demand for skilled labour in these industries. This will not only increase the workload of the inmates but also bring financial rewards to them,” he said.

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