Earning behind the bars

Published On: April 7, 2018 03:28 AM NPT By: Daman Rai

KHOTANG, April 6: The inmates of Diktel district prison are earning good money inside the jail, making fabric used for Dhaka topi or caps.

Saroj Rai, one of the jail inmates employed in this fashion, informed that they are able to save Rs. 2,000 to 3, 000 per month through this work. They don't have to go outside the jail to sell their products as the customers come to them  . Of late, the district prison has become a popular market for  the fabric used for making the Dhaka topi.  

According to chief of the prison  Chitrakhar Acharya, the jail authorities been helping to market the finished  products. " We usually don't have to go to the market to sell  the Dhaka topi as the customers come to us," he said.

Currently, there are 30 inmates in the prison and most of them are making Dhaka topi. Some of them  weave Dhaka fabric. One inmate can turn out five to nine Dhaka topi n a month. Some organizations have provided the looms used for weaving the fabric. 

The inmates are happy to use their free time doing some skilled work to earn some money. In the beginning, they found it hard  to kill time in  prison away from their families. But they have gotten used to it after taking up this gainful  work. Those serving longer jail sentences are  involved in weaving the Dhaka cloth and making bamboo stools. 

Three of the inmates  are operating a mini-business in wooden stools. Saroj Rai, Jay Giri and Hom Bishwokarma have been making the stools with  raw materials brought in from the tarai. Though they have been using local bamboo the used tires and thread come from  the tarai. Each bamboo stool is sold for Rs. 400 to Rs.600. These inmates are now able to provide financial support to their families .


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