The pandemic has converted all of us into a person who needs to help those in need. While we all can practice social distancing and be safe, the prisoners can’t really do that. 

Yet, being the citizens of this country they are trying to do their best. The inmates in Uttar Pradesh and Telangana have joined the fight against the Novel Coronavirus by producing masks and sanitisers.

As the number of Corona positive cases increases so has the need for masks and sanitisers. The inmates of prisoners in these two states thought to do something about it. 

Considering how contagious the virus is, everyone who is supposed to step out of their houses have been advised to use masks preferably the ones that can be thrown after single use and hence there will be less chances of the virus spreading.  

Inmates of prisons in Telangana are making thousands of masks and sanitisers for doctors, policemen, health workers and others in the frontline.

The Telangana Prisons Department is selling these products under the ‘My Nation’ brand and has also come out with a Health and Hygiene kit, consisting of washable masks, hand sanitisers, hand wash, bath soaps and phenyl.

These inmates are trained by chemists on how to make sanitisers, while professional tailors at the prisons taught them how to stitch the masks. These masks are then sold to the health professionals, government departments and Information Technology firms. 

Around 9,000 face masks and 3,000 litres of sanitiser are being produced every day at Chanchalguda and Cherlapally central prisons in Hyderabad and other district jails.

After the demand for their products shot up, the Prisons Department deployed inmates exclusively for producing masks and sanitisers. As many as 50 inmates make 2,000 face masks every day at Chanchalguda central prisons alone, and we have already sold over 30,000 face masks and around 6,000 litres of sanitiser.

Right now, they have orders to supply 60,000 face masks to be delivered by the month end. The face masks being produced are washable and reusable, making them more sustainable. Both the masks and sanitisers are also priced lower than products available in the market.

Similarly, in the northern part of the country, prisoners in Uttar Pradesh’s Ghaziabad and Gautam Buddh Nagar jails have stitched around 85,000 washable, cotton face masks, to help protect people from the deadly virus. 

Over 57,000 of these masks have been made at the Dasna jail in Ghaziabad, while 27,500 have been stitched at the Luksar jail in Gautam Buddh Nagar. The manufacturing in these two prisons had started right after Holi.

As more and more information about the coronavirus outbreak started coming in, some of the skilled prison inmates took the responsibility and volunteered for the job. 

At present, 20 inmates at the Dasna jail and 12-14 at Luksar are engaged in this manufacturing. They make a daily wage between Rs. 25 and Rs. 40 for their work, depending on the nature of their job – skilled, semi-skilled or unskilled.