After setting up shops to sell products made by inmates, Tihar Jail has come up with yet another initiative to engage prisoners — this time in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism.
Under the new initiative, a restaurant has been set up on Jail Road, where inmates trained in hotel management will serve customers. The hotel management course is offered by the Ministry of Tourism.
While it hasn’t been launched on a full scale, the 50-seater, air-conditioned restaurant is open to customers between 10 am and 10 pm. It also provides home delivery services to areas within 1-km radius. Authorities said 10 of the 45 inmates who were trained for the job are already working at the restaurant. “Once the number of customers increase, we will put the rest to work,” a Tihar Jail official said.
Tihar jail PRO Sunil Gupta said, “Our motive is to serve cheap and good quality food in Delhi. Bakery products are the most popular now. The inmates serving food have been trained professionally in house keeping, cooking and hotel management. They have been chosen from semi-open prisons where inmates with a sentence spanning not more than 12 years are kept. The inmates with a good track record — who have not been accused of severe crimes — were employed for this venture. The revenue will be used for welfare programmes for the inmates.”
Also in the pipeline is a “happiness programme”, which will aim to “transform the behaviour and lives” of prisoners, authorities said. The programme will be launch in association with Art of Living Foundation, Director General (Delhi Prisons) Vimla Mehra said on Sunday.
The programme will be put together to help inmates free themselves of stress. ‘Gurus’ from Art of Living will conduct the programme, jail officials said.
AIIMS will be conducting a study on inmates’ behaviour before and after each session of the programme. Mehra said in December last year counselling and healing was provided to 5,000 inmates in collaboration with Art of Living.