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Tihar Jail Factory and its unique products

“To improve prison conditions does not mean that prison life should be made soft; it means that it should be made humane and sensible. The prison should produce goods either in large scale modern factories where prisoners work, or in cottage industries. All work should be useful from the point of view of the prison as well as future of the prisoner, and the work should be paid for at market rates, minus the cost of maintenance of the prisoner”. (Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru, First Prime Minister of India)

The present rates fixed by the Government of NCT of Delhi, are as under:

Skilled Worker                                                      Rs. 52/- per day

Semi-skilled Worker                                            Rs. 44/-     “

Unskilled Worker                                                 Rs. 40/-      “

Tihar Factory is located in Jail No2. Other Jails are also participating in the production of various items, under the system of work allocation followed by the Jail administration, as per the skills of the prisoners and the market demand for such products.

The following types of vocational trainings are imparted within the Jail premises, and the trained hands are absorbed in the regular production schedule of the merchandise.

Plumbing, Envelope Making/Paper Unit, Typing, Tailoring, Carpentry, Weaving & Embroidery, Computer, Crèche Training, Beauty Culture and Hair Dressing, Painting, Atta Chakki & Masala Chakki, Dhoop Bati Making, Bakery, Chemical, Pottery, Pickle Project, Commercial Art, Electrical(House Wiring), Screen Printing, Bag Making, Herbal Packs, Diya Decorations, Gardening, Papad  Making, Nursery, Automotive Repairs, Carpet, Fabrication, Garments,  Refrigeration & Air Conditioning  and Printing etc.

Some of the important units which are engaged in mass, commercial production of the items are:

Carpentry Unit: Over 300 inmates are engaged in this unit, and this is the largest unit of production. Every type of furniture like School Dual Desks, Household and Office Furniture are manufactured here. The regular buyers are Directorate of Education, Govt. Of NCT of Delhi, Polytechnic Colleges, Industrial Training Institutes, Social Welfare Departments etc. In the year 2008-09, the turnover of the unit was Rs.3.50 crores. In the current year the turnover will increase many fold as it has received an order of 60,000 units of Dual desks, the total value of which is around Rs.12 crores.

Tailoring Unit: The stitching is modern and about 30 inmates are fully engaged to handle the current level of production.  Uniforms for staff, Kurta Pyjama for inmates, Shirts, Trousers, Handkerchiefs, Suits, Apron, and Masks—name a product, this unit manufactures it. The turnover in the year 2008-09 was Rs.20 lacs. The jail has tie-up arrangements with the renowned fashion designers for training the inmates for adopting the latest designs and fashion trends.

Weaving Unit: Around 60 inmates are engaged in this unit. The unit did a turnover of Rs.50 lacs in the year 2008-09. The unit consists of 12 Power looms and 52 Handlooms.  It manufactures Prisoner’s Uniform, Dari, Khes, and Dusters etc.

Paper Unit: Manufactures eco-friendly handmade paper. 60 inmates are engaged here for making colorful handmade papers, paper bags, fancy file covers, envelops, carry bags etc. The turnover of this unit during 2008-09 was Rs. 231 lacs.

Food Processing Unit: Female inmates are engaged for making Pickle/Papad, Sewian (Vermicelli) etc.

Shoe Making Unit: A new unit added in December 2009. It provides training to about 50 inmates in shoe stitching and shoe making.

Chemical Unit: 25 inmates are engaged in this unit. It manufactures Phenyl and Mustard Oil with the byproduct of Khal. The turnover of this small unit in the year 2008-09 was Rs.1.10 crores.

Pottery Unit: Designer-ware in pottery and ceramics are manufactured.

The turnover in 2010 is expected to be Rs.20 crores, double that of the year 2009.  The Factory has three ISO Certifications in January 2009 for Quality Management, Environment Management System, Occupational Health and Safety Management System.

Divya Jyoti Jagrati Sansthan, a NGO working for the reformation and rehabilitation of the Jail inmates in Tihar Jail for the last about 15 years, has created ‘employment generating units’ in all the nine Jails. The Sansthan and introduces innovative products every year, that are produced by the Jail inmates. Holi colors (Gulal) introduced by this NGO for the first time during the Holi festival last year, was a tremendous success on account of its quality. The natural colors were without any sort of chemicals and they were the best quality-wise and price-wise. Many newspapers and TV channels highlighted this product which was exclusively manufactured in the Women Jail (Jail No.6)

Mind you Tihar is one of the villages of Delhi. If all the 593,731 inhabited villages in India (Census of India 2009) are to adopt the Tihar Model and engage in the manufacturing activities, there will be no unemployment problem in India.

(Ref: http://www.delhi.gov.in/wps/wcm/connect/lib_centraljail/Central+Jail/ Home/Factory)

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