Things in Cumilla Central Jail are no longer monotonous or painful for its inmates as the prison authorities have allowed them to spend their time in a productive way.
The jail authorities have engaged them in various income-generating activities like making handicrafts and other products, aiming to make them both self-reliant and skilled ones.
The authorities have been providing training to the convicted male and female prisoners in handicraft production with a view to improving their skills so that they do not get involved in crimes again when they will be out of jail and earn their livelihoods on their own, jail officials said.
They said the products made by the prisoners in the jail are being sold at the prison’s sales and exhibition centre, and different fairs in the capital as well.
According to them, more than 300 prisoners have been making handicraft items and Nakshi Kantha (handmade embroidered quilt) in the jail.
Shahanaz Begum, deputy jailer of Cumilla Central Jail, said the handicraft products are being sold at the prison’s sales and exhibition centre round the year.
“The products made by the prisoners here have a high demand at the annual Dhaka International Trade Fair and other fairs,” she said adding that the prisoners are receiving their fair shares from the sales of their products, which is bringing a positive mental change in them, too.
When they will return to the normal life after serving their jail terms, they will not remain unemployed for long as they are becoming skilled workers, said Forkan Wahid, jailer of the Cumilla Central Jail.
The Cumilla District Jail, which was turned into a central jail in 1962, now has some 3,000 prisoners against its capacity of accommodating 1,742 only.