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Tiruchi Prison Bazaar is a culinary hotspot again

After a long hiatus, the Food Court at the Prison Bazaar in Tiruchi Central Prison is back. It will serve a variety of foodstuff prepared by prisoners for the general public at nominal rates.

The Tamil Nadu Prison Department has revived the Food Court, which was inaugurated by Additional Director General of Police (Prisons) C. Sylendra Babu in the presence of senior jail officials.

The Food Court, which did brisk business since its launch in 2014, was shut down over a year ago due to internal reasons. The initiative has been restarted with the twin objective of rehabilitating prisoners serving lengthy terms and selling food items at fair rates to the general public.

Prison authorities said around 80 inmates serving life terms would run the unit. Divided into groups, they would be engaged in cooking, manning the outlet, serving the dishes and washing utensils.

Located at the entrance of the prison, the outlet would serve tiffin items such as idli, dosa and pongal, besides tea and coffee, in the morning. Variety rice would be prepared in the afternoon, while snacks and tiffin would be served in the evening.

It would function from dawn to dusk, engaging the convicts in productive vocation the whole day, a senior official said. It would be completely managed and run by them under the overall supervision of the Prison Department, authorities said here.

In the absence of the Food Court, the Prison Bazaar had been selling only bakery items, sweets and savouries. Grocery items procured from outside and vegetables grown on jail lands would be used for preparing the dishes. The vegetables would also be available for purchase at the Prison Bazaar.

This is yet another rehabilitation measure aimed at benefiting convicts as they will be paid wages for their work and, at the same time, be fruitfully occupied through out the day, an official said.

The Prison Department has also revived the ironing unit. Clothes obtained from public and jail staff would be sent to the unit for ironing.

With convicts, under trials and remand prisoners, the Tiruchi Central Jail has prison industrial units inside the sprawling campus such as soap manufacturing unit, weaving unit, carpentry, book binding and tailoring unit, engaging over 60 convicts in the trade.


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