Inmates across prisons in Kerala cook and pack food for flood victims and rescuers; many have donated their daily wages to the chief minister’s flood relief fund.
The floods in Kerala may have brought people in the state face to face with nature's fury, but it has also reposed their trust in humankind. While people across the country and the world opened up their hearts and purses to affect the flood-hit, closer home, prisoners decided to do what they could to help their brethren.
Over 350 inmates from across the prisons in Kerala have been cooking and packing food to be airdropped or sent to relief camps and rescue teams working in the state.
DGP of Prisons Sreelekha told TNM that inmates from the Thiruvananthapuram Central Prison, Women's Prison and Special Sub Jail had been cooking and dispatching food packets with chapatis and kurma for the relief camps. “They made over 40,000 chapatis in just two days. We've even been feeding the rescue officials - Army, Navy, NDRF and Coast guard who have been working tirelessly and sometimes without access to food.”
As many as 120 prison officials worked with the inmates and the Collectorate, dropping off food and water bottles to nearby relief camps and air bases. Over 20,000 packets of food and 50,000 bottles of water were provided from the prisons every day.
“Our food packets were used mainly for airdropping to people stranded on roof tops and isolated buildings,” a senior prison official said. “Besides chapati and curry, we have sent jam and packaged water also,” he added.
Most prisons in Kerala, except the district jail in Pathanamthitta and a prison in Kottarakara, were unaffected by the recent floods.
DIG of Prisons Santosh said prisons were taking turns to feed those in the camps. On Monday, the Alappuzha district prison supplied food to relief camps. “District prisons in Ernakulam, Kozhikode and Kollam have also been providing food to camps. In Viyyur, the inmates of Central Prison provided kanji to victims housed nearby. In a prison in Kannur, food packets, baby food and other materials were collected and sent to the air base.”
Many of these inmates also volunteered to donate their daily wages to the chief minister’s flood relief fund.
“Inmates from each prison are undertaking this initiative. From the Kannur Central jail, inmates have donated up to Rs 4.5 lakh to the CM's fund. And this is just one prison,” Santosh said.