Constable Ram Swaroop, who is also taking care of the stall, believes that inmates, once out of the prison, can earn their livelihood even with a small investment. “Since they are trained to use waste products, they don’t need ten to fifteen thousand rupees to start their own businesses. They can just do it with 1000-1500 rupees,” Swaroop says.
Dharamjeet reveals the thinking behind the programme: “We want to divert the thinking process of prisoners from bad to good things. We want to make them self-reliant,” he says.
One of the most positive outcomes of this initiative is the active participation of the prisoners. The prisoners have gone a step ahead, as Dharamjeet says, “The response by the criminals has been tremendous, and they have taken an oath not to commit crimes again.”
The stall has been set up for the first time at the Mela, but the items are not available for sale this year. “From next year, we are going to have an exhibition-cum-sale,” Dharamjeet says.
But the major concern for the policemen is that this year they haven’t been able to find an ideal location to exhibit the products. “This year, we were given this back side location. We would have received widespread attention had we got a place near the centre of the mela,” believes Dharamjeet.
Given the increasing popularity of the Surajkund crafts mela that took off on Friday last, the area of the festival this year has been increased to 40 acres. Twenty-one countries from different parts of the world are participating in the 15-day long cultural handicrafts extravaganza that takes places every year in Faridabad, Haryana.
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