Equipped with 15 sewing machines, the tailoring unit is all set to produce 4,000 nylon mosquito nets and 2,000 raincoats for Tiruchi police personnel.

Inmates of the Tiruchi Central Prison engaged in the jail’s tailoring unit have been assigned the task of stitching mosquito nets and hooded raincoats meant for supply to the Police Department.

Equipped with 15 sewing machines, the tailoring unit of Tiruchi Prison has been producing uniforms for convicts lodged in various central jails across the State. The tailoring unit, which had received an order for producing 4,000 nylon mosquito nets, has churned out 2,000 nets so far, and will soon start working for completing the order, jail authorities here told The Hindu.

The mosquito nets will be handed over to the Coimbatore Central Prison, since a portion of its order was diverted to the Tiruchi Prison. It will then be supplied to the Police Department, a jail official said.

Manufacture of 2,000 raincoats and caps is slated to commence after the order for mosquito nets has been executed. This is the first time that mosquito nets were being manufactured in the Tiruchi Prison, the authorities said.

Convicts involved in prison industrial units have been manufacturing file pads, oil soaps, blankets and bandage cloth for in-house use, other jails, government homes and government offices for several years. Wages for inmates engaged in prison industrial units are deposited in the prisoner's cash property account. Jail officials say only short-term convicts and those serving long sentences are drafted for these jobs. This initiative has been aimed at engaging them productively and also as a rehabilitation measure.

The Tiruchi Prison has 1,300 prisoners, 700 of whom are convicts serving various terms.

Jail authorities said that over 1.28 lakh soap bars, 40,000 file pads, 3,794 blankets and 13,000 metres of bandage cloth were manufactured last year. Plans are afoot to impart hands-on training on welding to prisoners, with assistance from the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), the official said.