We have often come across some stories of great inspiration from our Indian prisons, about how some emerge stronger and much better human beings. We also keep on hearing about how some of the products made by the jail inmates become a rage, like the biryani from one of Kerala’s jail.
So if you are wondering where all the money collected during demonetization went, we know where at least some of it is going. To the Puzhal Central Prison, Chennai. There people serving life imprisonment are giving fresh use to demonetised currency, by converting shredded notes into stationery. Six other jails in the state are also involved in making file-pads but Puzhal is the only one to make them from demonitised currency. The stationery made here is used by state government departments and their agencies.
Everyday a specially trained team of about 25-30 convicts serving life imprisonment make file holders at this niche stationery making unit. For putting in 25 days of this work per month, they get wages ranging between Rs 160-200 (for eight hours a day) depending upon whether they are skilled or semi-skilled.
The Reserve Bank of India offered 70 tons of shredded notes out of which about 1.5 tons has been used to make the file holders so far. About 1,000 such holders are made daily at Puzhal prison.
Ironic isn’t it – all the so-called ‘black money’ collected through illegal methods goes to a jail where convicts are now giving it a new lease of life.