After Biriyani and rotis, inmates of Kerala Central prison in Thiruvananthapuram are all set to break into a new market - footwear. Hawaii chappal made in prisons will soon be available in the next-door shop or market in Kerala as the Central prison has now started manufacturing rubber slippers now.
After dishing out a variety of products, including delicious but cost-effective food items, and successfully venturing into organic farming and beauty parlour business to running a petrol pump, the inmates of the Poojappura Central Prison here are now making footwear.
As part of a series of welfare measures for the prisoners to bring them to the forefront of society, the Kerala Prisons and Correctional Services Department recentlyestablished a manual footwear manufacturing unit at the jail premises.
The jail authorities released photos of inmates, in their conventional attire, engaged in chappal making and the colourful footwear they made.
"Each pair of slipper will be sold at Rs 80 and it will be marketed under the brand name-Freedom Walk," Superintendent of the prison and correction home Nirmalanandan Nair said.
Director General of Prisons and Correctional services Rishi Raj Singh, DGP, on Saturday launched the sale of the slippers at a function in the jail premises adhering to COVID protocols.
Meanwhile, a prison statement here said the Poojappura central jail has now become a complete COVID-free zone.
With the coordinated efforts of Health and Jail Departments, the central prison has become free of the viral infectionin one month.
"All the 42 inmates, who had remained COVID positive, have now turned negative for the disease. At present, there is no COVID positive patient at this jail," the superintendent said.
In the wake of the pandemic, various services provided by the jail had been stopped temporarily.
Now, welfare various services, including food unit, cafeteria, gents' beauty parlour and the sale of organic vegetables, have been resumed now, he added.
Seeking to tap the hugely popular online food market, the state Prison Department had recently begun offering biriyani prepared by the inmates.
For this, they have tied up with Swiggy, the online food delivery player.
The Freedom Food Factory, an enterprise selling food, mainly chappathi and chicken curry combo, prepared by the inmates at prisons in the state, has been engaged in the business since 2011.
(With inputs from PTI)