The prisoners in Hyderabad central jail are contributing in their own way in the battle against the deadly coronavirus disease Covid-19.
For the last two weeks, around 250 prisoners at Cherlapalli central jail, on the outskirts of Hyderabad, are busy making sanitisers, face masks and soaps, which are in high demand from the people to save themselves from contracting the dreaded virus.
“The prisoners are working in two shifts – starting from 9 am to 9 pm – to make these products. On an average, the prisoners are producing around 10,000 bottles of hand sanitisers alone, apart from hand washes, face masks and even sanitary cleaners,” Cherlapally jail superintendent M Sampath told Hindustan Times.
The prison has a chemical unit within the premises, where prisoners are regularly given training for preparation of hand washes, floor cleaners, disinfectants etc. “We have been selling these products under ‘My Nation’ brand every year. Now that there is a huge demand for hand sanitisers and hand washes, we thought we can make the best use of the opportunity,” Sampath said.
The demand is huge. “We are being flooded with orders mostly from the government departments – from state-level to the district-level – apart from hospitals, nursing homes and other such establishments. They procure directly from the prison stalls,” the jail superintendent said.
Apart from these customers, the prisons department is now offering the products even to the common households, in the wake of coronavirus scare. “We are making anti-coronavirus kits, each kit costing Rs 900 and supplying the same to the consumers by order,” he said.
Each kit comprises two bottles of sanitisers, each of 320 ml, 12 face masks, two bottles of hand wash, three soaps and two bottles of sanitary cleaners. The prisoners are also being trained to prepare the face masks within the jail premises.
“At present, we are taking orders from customers of only Hyderabad and Secunderabad, as we cannot cope up with huge demand. We are making the door delivery of the products only for a minimum order of 15 kits,” Sampath said.
He said the cost of each kit is very less compared to the market price. “For instance, a 100 ml sanitiser bottle in the market costs not less than Rs 250 to Rs 300. But we are selling the same at Rs 180 for a 320 ml bottle,” he pointed out.