Ahmedabad: “Every time I went on rounds, the women inmates housed inside the women’s barrack would complain to me that they wish to work and be employed,” says Sabarmati Jail Superintendent V H Dindor. While to speaking to journalists today, he said that according to jail manual, it is compulsory for the inmates to be provided with work inside the prison, but the work available in the prison are meant for male inmates and we didn’t have anything for the female inmates. The men were mostly employed with jobs of blacksmith, carpentry, bakery and diamond polishing.

Dindor further informed that when they were brainstorming on how to get the female inmates of the jail employed, Navjivan Trust and Karma Foundation came to their rescue. These NGOs have set up a sanitary napkin manufacturing unit in the women’s barrack at the cost of Rs 5.5 lakhs. It was inaugurated on May 7 by DGP (Prisons) TS Bisht.

Karma Foundation’s managing trustee Priyanshi Patel says, I visited the women’s barrack about six months ago and found out that they were not employed in the prison. That’s when we decided to train these women in the manufacturing of sanitary napkins. The motive behind this is not just to provide an employment opportunity to the women, but also to provide them with sanitary napkins for menstrual hygiene at a very nominal cost. While the female inmates would be provided with sanitary napkins free of cost, the ones manufactured by them would be provided to poor and village women in partnership with different organizations.

Priyanshi Patel further informed that Karma Foundation would pay these women a salary which would not only take care of their daily expenditure inside the prison but also enable them to remit back to their houses too. This not only keeps them engaged inside during their time inside the prison but also after they get out of the jail. Navjivan Trust, which has been working with the Sabarmati Central since last two years has teamed up with Karma Foundation this time for the empowerment of women housed inside the jails of Sabarmati prison.