As many as 66 Tihar inmates, who are on the verge of completing their sentences, were on Tuesday hired by private companies and a shoe-making unit during a recruitment drive at the jail premises.

Vedanta group and IDEIM India offered the highest number of placements while Taj Mahal Group offered the highest package to Raju Parasnath, who has spent more than eight years in Tihar.

Mr. Parasnath had completed a Bachelor of Social Work programme from IGNOU during his stay in jail. He secured a position as assistant business development manager at a salary of Rs 35,000 per month.

“I came here when I was 18-years-old on charges of murder. My sentence was reduced keeping in mind my good behaviour. I completed my graduation in Tihar and have now got a job. I hope I will do justice to myself and my employers,” he said.

Most of the inmates who have landed jobs are on the verge of being released and will join duty soon after the completion of their sentences, officials said. Thirty-one companies participated in the event.

In all, 66 inmate students were selected to participate in the programme and the selection criteria was based on their good conduct. Thirty-seven were placed in various companies. The others have been placed in a shoe-making unit.

Director General (Prisons) Vimla Mehra congratulated the candidates. She said a special placement drive for women inmates would be organised soon.

People’s Own Foundation, Taj Mahal Group of Companies, Aziz Media, Vedanta Foundation and Universal Enterprises were among the firms that offered salaries ranging from Rs. 8000 to Rs. 35,000 per month. Positions of drivers, plumbers, marketing executives and business development managers were on offer, said Tihar spokesperson Sunil Gupta. Authorities said that the appointment letters will rest with the jail authorities and will be handed over to the inmates on their release.