Now, jail inmates can pack and earn

Undertrials busy packing incense sticks at district jail in Chamarajanagar.  dh photo

The undertrials have the opportunity to make use of their time, work and also earn money to be used to purchase essential items.

Currently, the undertrials are involved in packing incense sticks. The packing work is given as per the jail rules and the time fixed by the authorities concerned. Ready incense sticks are sent by Mysore-based NR Agarbathi Company (Cycle brand) to the district jail. The inmates have to just count and put them in covers and pack. Later, the company seal has to be affixed. They get Rs 1.10 per packet.

The undertrials cannot be forced to work, as it would be against law. But, if they come forward voluntarily to work, an application should be submitted to the jail superintendent. Only after that they would be provided an opportunity to work.

Packing of incense sticks has been started for the first time in the jail. Currently 64 undertrials are housed here. Out of them, 15 to 20 inmates are involved in packing and each person packs 25 to 40 packets every day and earns about Rs 40. Most of the inmates, who are in need of money have taken up work.

The inmates are not allowed to utilise money according to their wish. There are a set of rules for this. The money is deposited at the savings bank account opened for them. As per law the money can be used to buy things necessary for day to day life like soap and snacks.
Jail superintendent D S Hatti said the programme has been introduced for the first time six months back.

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