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Now, find jute products made by jail inmates at reputed book store

Kolkata: The inmates of Dum Dum Central Correctional Home (DDCCH) will have a permanent place to showcase jute designer products manufactured by them. The Oxford Book Store at Park Street will display and sell their products on a permanent basis from Sunday. The venture will be launched by famous author Shobha De.
The "Jute Story Behind Bars," an effort to empower the lives of inmates of DDCCH through coordinated skill development training for six months in the manufacture of jute products was started last year by an NGO in association with the state Correctional Administration department. As many as 40 inmates were handpicked for the training and now 25 of them are churning out around 500 products on a regular basis.
"We have showcased the products in various fairs and exhibitions and their response was excellent. Hence, we decided to provide them with a much bigger and prestigious platform," a senior official of the state Correctional Administration department said.
The three-day BIMSTEC expo held in September 2017 at the Netaji Indoor Stadium witnessed the exhibition and sale of designer products made by these jail inmates. The NGO had made arrangements for display and sale of these products at Indian International Trade Fair at Pragati Maidan in Delhi in November.
"We are launching the project at Presidency Central Correctional Home this month itself," said Chaitali Das, managing trustee of the NGO.
It may be mentioned that the products manufactured by the inmates range from mats, cushion covers, gift items, files and folders, bags and other home décor items. "Expert designers have been roped in to give the products an international touch. The effort is also expected to enhance the usage of jute by emphasising its inherent sustainability, biodegradable nature and aesthetics," Das said.
"We are trying to make our inmates skilled by teaching them new techniques and upgrading their existing skills. They are now being able to support their families through this gainful employment and once they go out, they can be employed by people and other organisations," the official said.
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