A diet chart planned meticulously calculating calories even in garlic or chillies is something that may earn a fitness freak tag, but such an exercise is being planned in jails of Maharashtra.
In a bid to ensure inmates follow a healthy lifestyle and do not fall prey to ailments, a committee comprising dietitians, nutritionists, doctors and jail authorities have prepared a comprehensive diet plan for jail inmates in the state.
If the proposed diet plan comes through, jail kitchens will cook food ensuring every ingredient added to each food item is as per prescribed norms. Based on food requirements, jail inmates would be divided into eight categories and food pre-decided for each.
A woman prisoner undergoing simple imprisonment will be served 2,400 calories a day. This includes a medium cup of tea that contains around 50 calories to start her day, a bowl of poha (beaten rice), upma (dry roasted semolina) or sheera served in rotation as breakfast having 500 calories, lunch comprising wet and dry veggies or a dry veggie and dal and three chappatis ensuring it doesn’t exceed 800 calories, and a cup of milk that accounts for 100 calories. The same maths will be applied across other categories with quotients being increased or decreased as per requirement. Every prisoner will be given a banana a day. A meal would cost around Rs 40.
There are additions for pregnant prisoners, lactating mothers and prisoners suffering from Tuberculosis or HIV or those hospitalised and recommended a liquid diet. “In case of pregnant prisoners and lactating mothers, the diet will have milk, jaggery and a banana in addition to the diet given to a prisoner serving simple imprisonment,” informed a senior official.
In case of prisoners recommended liquid diet post hospitalisation, a mix of boiled eggs, fruits and milk will be provided.
Special care will be given to juveniles aged 15 to 18 years in conflict with law. They will be provided 4,000 calories and that includes milk containing 600 calories and a mix of fruits.
“Juvenile delinquents are teenagers and require a good diet for proper growth. Special care is taken while designing their diet,” added the official.
“The recommendation has been made by a committee presided by me. We have sent it to the state government for approval,” Inspector General (IG), Prisons, Bipin Singh told The Indian Express. The jail inmates have voted poha (beaten rice) as preferred breakfast, and suggested rice being replaced with ‘healthier options’ like pulses or oatmeal (daliya).