Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Jail inmates to make automobile parts

Jail inmates to make automobile parts

PUNE: An automobile component manufacturing unit has been set up at Yerawada Central Jail to provide employment to inmates, besides imparting skills Automobile component manufacturer Spark Minda of Ashok Minda group has set up the plant through a public-private partnership.

Spread across 2,000 sq ft, the facility will see 30 inmates working to produce wire harness units, which are key automotive components. The harnesses will be supplied to Mahindra & Mahindra for further assembly in utility vehicles. The facility aims to empower inmates so that they can pick up employment skills to improve their employability, earn wages, and use their experience to lead a better life after their sentence ends, explained BK Upadhyay, additional director general (prisons). "Until now, traditional small-scale manufacturing units for carpentry, baking, laundry, washing, handloom work and metal products were set up at Yerawada jail. This is a great step forward and the initiative is in line with contemporary manufacturing industry.”

“We are looking to set up similar manufacturing units to aid inmates in jails across the state," Upadhyay added. Another facility will be set up at Nagpur Central Jail by December. Each inmate, working with the manufacturing unit, will get a certificate that is expected to help him or her land a job once the prisoner finishes the sentence and is out of the jail. The wire harness product will fetch Rs 200, per unit, of which each inmate will get Rs 55, per piece and Rs 10 will go towards the welfare fund. The rest of the money will go to the state exchequer. As of now, the manufacturing facility has the capacity to make 80 units, per day. Upadhyay said that the inmates will be selected to be employed by the unit on the basis of their track record, the number of years they have served their sentence as well as their educational background.

"An essential criterion for selection is a minimum seven-year conviction. All selected inmates will be provided training. As per norms laid out for operators working in the wire harness manufacturing units, and in addition to preliminary tests, a test for colour blindness will also be conducted," said NK Taneja, group chief marketing officer, Spark Minda, Ashok Minda group. For the next two months, a supervisor from the company will help the team at the prison settle into their job profile. To ensure quality check, a checker board has been put up in the unit and a visual inspection will be done before dispatch. Spark Minda will oversee raw material entry and dispatch, whose employees have been deputed at the jail. This is expected to ensure security and discipline.


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