Tihar prisoners have some good news to cheer about this Diwali. The jail authorities have increased the daily wages for working inmates up to double the amount of their old wages.
It is for the first time since the prison was established that the inmates’ wages have seen such a steep hike. “Starting October 15 this year, inmates engaged in different works inside the prison will get increased payment. The decision was taken keeping in mind the rising inflation,” said a senior official at Tihar Jail.
The rates have been revised after four years. The skilled workers who earlier used to get Rs.99 per day will now get Rs.171, the semi-skilled workers’ wages have been increased from Rs.81 to Rs.138 and the unskilled workers’ wages have been increased from Rs.71 to Rs.107, said the official.
The prisoners have received this news with much excitement. “The inmates are extremely happy with this decision because the money they are going to earn will be collected as their savings. Once they are out of the jail, they can utilise it for starting a new life,” the official added.
Tihar Jail inmates are employed in various jobs. They work in factory units in the prison complex that are involved in carpentry, bakery and metal, and make blankets and spices. There is also the newly-started automotive unit inside the complex.
The work at Tihar is divided according to the skills of the workers. If an inmate is a mechanic, he will be made to work in a related factory, if he does not know any skill, he will be made to assist a skilled inmate until he acquires a particular skill. Those who learn the job are put in the category of semi-skilled and then finally skilled workers. Those who are not able to learn much continue to assist the main workers and are put under the category of unskilled workers.
“Increasing the wages will also encourage inmates to do better work so that they can be put in the skilled workers category and earn more wages,” said the jail official.