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After their chapathis and chicken delicacies became a huge hit, prisoners of the Central jail here will soon be foraying into a new arena to test their skills in making eco-friendly and stuffed toys. The novel initiative is being launched at Poojapura central jail here. Toys available in the market are made of plastic and very expensive, which are beyond the reach of children of the lower income group, Poojapura central prison Superintendent S Santosh said.
There was also huge demand for affordable eco-friendly toys made of wood and cloth, he said. A workshop was recently conducted with the Child Development Centre (CDC) of the Medical college here and the Poojapura central jail, to familiarise prisoners with the idea.
The aim is to utilise the services of women prisoners in making soft toys and male prisoners in the carpentry unit in the jail for wooden toys. The main market of the Jail department is foreseeing nearly 3,000 aganwadis, the rural mother and child care centres in the state, which need affordable and inexpensive toys.
“The government gives them grants to purchase toys and we can supply the toys to them,” the official told PTI. The soft toys and eco friendly toys can also be marketed through the jail outlets, he said.
The three central jails in Kerala at Kannur, Viyyur in Thrissur and Thiruvananthapuram have Food and furniture making units, which have scripted huge success. The chappathi and chicken curry units are a roaring success with huge demand for them as they are highly cost effective, the official said.
Both Kannur and Viyyur prisons have remitted Rs five crore profits they have earned in the last fiscal to the state exchequer, while the central prison here handed over a profit of Rs 1.106 crore to the government The daily sales of the chappathi counter here is worth about Rs 2.5 lakh per day.
The prison also has five mobile units at various points of the city, a cafeteria inside the jail complex with per day sales touching between Rs 35,000-Rs 70,000. They also supply to government institutions and canteens.
There are also plans to start a bakery unit,Santosh said. Three fold umbrellas and cost-effective readymade shirts are also being made by prisoners in the state.