According to sources in correctional home department, the state government has to bear a cost of Rs 60 crore for the food of the inmates at all the 59 correctional homes across the state. It has been learnt that around Rs 10 crore is spent by the government for procuring the mustard oil, Rs 20 lakh for bread, Rs 6 crore for buying vegetables for the prisoners per year.
A senior official of the correctional home department said that training would be imparted among the
prisoners at all the correctional homes across the state to make them self reliant. Even the expenses of the correctional homes could be reduced by huge margin if the prisoners can start producing various items which could be used for their own consumption.
The department has a plan to train the prisoners on how to prepare mustard oil, bakery items, candles, textiles, umbrellas, phenols and other items. The department is also looking at how the prisoners could be used for farming for which they would be handed over various modern equipments and manure to increase the productivity.
The state government has already started the scheme on pilot basis. According to sources, in 2016-17, around Rs 45 crore have been earned from various items that were prepared by the prisoners at
various correctional homes in the state. Out of the amount, the correctional home department has made 28 per cent profit in the current financial year.
Under this current project, around 378 prisoners have already been employed. Profit has been made by the departments by running the schemes at Presidency Correctional Homes, Alipore Correctional Homes, Behrampore Correctional Homes, Midnapore Central Correctional Home.
In these correctional homes, the prisoners were preparing the mustard oil, bakery and other items and it has got tremendous response from the prisoners. The department has also chalked out an elaborate plan to the conduct pisciculture in all the ponds falling inside the correctional homes premises in large scale. Many correctional homes have been identified for this project.
It may be mentioned that this initiative was taken after the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee proposed to conduct pisciculture in the ponds. The prisoners would also take part in fish farming.