Egg, black channa, soup — this is part of the staple diet of elderly prisoners and those in poor health lodged in central prisons across Tamil Nadu.
This is an effort to boost their immune system, helping them avoid contracting COVID-19.
15 elderly in Puzhal
There are nine central jails in the State, where there are over 200 prisoners aged above 60 and more than 100 who have weak immunity. In Puzhal Central Prison alone, over 15 elderly prisoners have been housed for various offences.
“During the first wave last year, inmates of the Puzhal prison were infected. A team of government doctors that monitored them suggested this diet. It had a good impact on their health, and they recovered. So we reintroduced this diet this year for those who are in need of a good immune system,” said Sunil Kumar Singh, DGP, Prisons.
On regular days, the prisoners are given ‘upma’, made of pongal rice, for breakfast; for lunch, they are given rice, sambar and some vegetables and butter milk. In the evening, groundnuts are given. For dinner, rice or ‘chapatis’ are served.
“We are following all protocols in the prisons. In order to strengthen their immune system, we have started serving the inmates healthy food, along with the regular menu, every day. In most prisons. ‘kashayam’, ‘amukara milk’, ‘kabasura kudineer’, brown channa, lemon juice, lemon soup, milk, ‘murungai’ (drumstick) soup and egg are provided,” said A. Murugesan, DIG, Prisons.
Online yoga sessions are also conducted for all prisoners. “They are also allowed to walk within their blocks,” said a prison official in Vellore.
Besides, the arrested persons are first placed in 110 sub-jails across the State for quarantine and then brought to the central prisons after they test negative for COVID-19.