Thiruvananthapuram: A few inmates of the Poojapura Central Prison in Thiruvanathapuram have been making their way into the community's hearts through their stomachs. They make chapattis and chicken curry and sell it to eager citizens for Rs 25.
Superintendent of the Central Prison B Pradeep said, "This was started as a welfare program and was a great success. About 25,000 chapattis and 2,000 chicken curries are sold daily. And there is a remarkable change in the attitude of the public towards the inmates. The aversion is replaced by compassion."
Jail authorities believe working at the kitchen has been a therapeutic experience for the inmates as unrest and internal issues have declined. Fifty-five-year-old Vijayan was sentenced for seven years imprisonment for peddling drugs. But now he enjoys his role of a supervisor at the packaging section.
"We feel very happy to know that people are liking the food we make here. And I am able to send some money home from the wage I get," Vijayan said.
Authorities say that over 29 lakh chapattis have been sold out ever since this began four months ago. As far as the prison inmates are concerned it is an opportunity to forget their dubious past and indulge in some soulful cooking.