If you have a fancy to taste some ‘Jail ka Khaana’, literally, Agartala City Centre’s newly launched Bakery Joint is your place.
Tripura Rural Livelihood Mission (TRLM) and Tripura Correctional Station (TRICOS) – official manager of the Central Correctional Home, Bishalgarh, have come together to start the bakery joint at Agartala City Centre as a novel initiative to offer food manufactured by jail inmates, straight from the correctional home kitchen.
The place offers twenty food items and three beverages – all within the maximum price range of Rs 40. The food items include a host of patties and pastry, buns, cakes, loafs, cakes, biscuits and donuts. If that’s not enough, you can grab a cappuccino as cheap as 25 bucks, a latte at 20 and a cup of tea at Rs. 10.
The unique project has its roots one year back when TRLM Chief Executive Officer Sudhakar Shinde, who then served as Superintendent at Tripura Central Correctional Centre, Bishalgarh, started a model bakery at the correctional centre.
Directorate of Industries and Jail authorities came up with an idea of having a city-based store for their products. Finally, the project was finalized as a collaborative venture where the prison authorities would look after the manufacture and quality control of food. That’s where TRLM came in with marketing assistance through a host of registered SHG volunteers.
The bakery joint is managed by two Self Help Groups. Ms Anuradha and Khairunnissa Bibi, both SHG volunteers from villages, would source raw materials to the jail kitchen and sell the finished products.
After inaugurating the Tripura Correctional Station (TRICOS)-Tripura Rural Livelihood Mission (TRLM) Bakery Joint at Agartala City Centre this evening, Deputy Chief Minister Jishnu Devvarma said he found the idea quite fascinating and novel.
“This is a very nice and new idea. I have tried a few food items here. They are really great. The authorities have also set up a pool table and maintains a nice ambience for people to enjoy. On top of that, 30 percent of the profit will go to Self Help Group welfare. I think people should come and try it”, the Deputy CM said.
Inspector General of Tripura Police (Prisons) Jaideep Nair said he hopes the project would bring in new dimensions in correcting people who are behind the bars for some reason or other. He also ensured that all food items manufactured at the jail go through a rigorous quality control check, making sure there is no risk of food contamination.
Bishalgarh Central Correctional Centre was set up in 2013 with an installed capacity of housing 975 inmates including 50 women and 25 VIP detainees. It is arguably one of the largest prison facilities of NE India, built on 32.62 acres of land at a cost of Rs.64 crore. The centre has an estimated 477 inmates now.
The bakery project was launched to convicts passing days behind the bars with an opportunity of learning new trades and coming back to mainstream of life as changed men and women.
TRLM, which has partnered as marketing experts in the project, started operation in Tripura as the state chapter of National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) back in 2014 in three districts of the state – Dhalai, Gomati and South Tripura. They have trained and mobilized nearly 90 thousand rural poor women in rural women Self Help Groups (SHG) so far. They were trained in institutional management, cooperative management and self-employment including farm sector, livestock and other non farm sector activities.