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Prison break: Wiring harness unit in Yerawada jail offers employment to inmates

The inmates were trained for three months and they are now producing 80 units per day adding up to 2,000 units per month.

Written by Indraja Gugle | Pune |
Updated: October 28, 2015 5:29:36 am

yerwadaFollowing a private-public partnership between Spark Minda, Ashok Minda Group, Yerwada Central Prison and Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd, an assembly plant and a production unit was set up inside the Yerawada jail premises on lease and the production began in the last week of February.

The harnesses manufactured at this automotive plant will be fitted in Mahindra vehicles.

“It is our endeavour to bring an effective change in the inmate’s outlook towards life and to give them a chance to carry further respectably,” said N K Taneja, Group Chief Marketing Officer, Spark Minda, Ashok Minda Group. He added that the initiative also contributed towards the skill development mission of the government. Spark Minda first initiated the wiring harness plant venture at Dresden Jail, Germany, in 2005 and later in Tihar Jail, Delhi, in 2014.

“The quality of the harnesses made by the Yerwada jail inmates is excellent or even better than other plants. We are hoping to increase the number of inmates working here to about 150-200,” said Nitin Tikle, Vice President, SSBU, Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd. Thirty prisoners convicted for seven or more years were selected to work at the facility after undergoing a colour blindness test.
The inmates were trained for three months and they are now producing 80 units per day adding up to 2,000 units per month. Each unit costs Rs 200 of which Rs 55 goes to the worker, 10 per cent goes towards the Prisoners’ Welfare Fund and the rest goes to the government.

“Nobody is inherently a bad person but bad moments make people repent for years in jails. Through such initiatives, we
try to ensure that the situation of the inmates does not deteriorate and that they get employed and socially integrated when they leave the prison,” said Dr B K Upadhyay, ADG and IG, Maharashtra Prison Department. For their work, they will also be given certificates at the end of the term.

“Since this project kick-started, we have seen a visible change in the inmates. They are psychologically uplifted and have a greater sense of self-esteem now that they are skilled workers and are earning money,” added Upadhyay.

Around 80 to 90 per cent of convicts at Yerwada Jail are involved in handloom, furniture, blacksmithing and baking
activities.

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