The inmates serving life sentence are converting shredded demonetised notes into stationery for the state government and its agencies to use.
When the Government of India demonetised the Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 notes, numerous reports surfaced that these were burnt by people who were unable to exchange them for new currency. However, the prisoners in Chennai’s Central Prison are giving a new lease of life to the demonetised currency.
Reserve Bank of India supplies the prison with stacks or bundles of shredded notes. These shredded notes are first converted into pulp. This pulp is then poured into a die-mould where it solidifies and turns into hard pads.
These hard pads are then cut out according to the required size. The inmates then paste coloured paper onto them for covers. Once the covers are pasted, the inmates tag the files with ‘urgent’ or ‘ordinary’ markings.Used in government offices, a file pad is a type of semi-corrugated, hard pad with corners embellished with red coloured cloth material.
The inmates work for 25 days in a month to make these file pads. They are paid wages according to their skills ranging between Rs 160 to Rs 200 (for eight hours a day).
Approximately 1.5 lakh file-pads are produced every month in Tamil Nadu.
Central jails in the state specialise in other areas of production apart from stationery-making by using convicts as its labour force.