The Kerala Government in association with the Indian Oil Corporation has launched an initiative that would help prisoners in Kerala earn money as employees. They would be employed in various petrol pumps, and take home a salary of ₹220 per day. The Government has listed down petrol pumps located in and around jail premises where inmates can work.
Indian Oil Corporation has invested a whopping 9.5 crore to run this project successfully, of which, ₹ 30 lakhs has been contributed by the jail department for setting up petrol pump outlets adjacent to jail premises.
According to Rishiraj Singh, Jail DGP, around 15 inmates will be employed per petrol pump. In fact, petrol pumps on the premises of Thiruvananthapuram, Viyyur, and Cheemeni jails have started operations already. They also plan to roll out the initiative for prisoners in Kannur jail. When asked about whether the prisoners would try to escape, Rishiraj affirmatively said that the chances are less owing to his experience in handling other initiatives that have helped prisoners, such as managing cafeterias or running parlors successfully. All the prisons will undergo training under the guidance of Indian Oil Corporation, along with the supply of uniforms.
As for how the Kerala Government will benefit from the initiative, they will receive revenue of ₹ 5.9 lakh per month for leasing 25 cents in Thiruvananthapuram, 39 cents in Kannur, 25 cents in Viyur and 25 cents in Cheemeni. The lands have been leased to the Indian Oil Corporation for 30 years. There are plans to expand the project in the future to set up CNG units and electrical charging stations, along with public comfort stations for customers.
Considering Kerala’s previous welfare initiatives for inmates, this too will prove to be successful in empowering prisoners to live better.