Coronavirus: Telangana prisoners produce 9,000 face masks, 3,000 litres of sanitiser daily

Telangana Prisons Department is selling face masks and sanitisers under the ‘My Nation’ brand.

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the World Health Organisation, as well as the Indian government, issued an advisory for social distancing norms and hygienic practices to follow in order to prevent the further spread of the deadly virus. 

The advisory asks people to use face masks in public spaces, frequently washing hands with soap, and using an alcohol-based hand rub or hand sanitiser. However, in the wake of the pandemic, Indians found it difficult to get their hands on face masks and hand sanitisers, as they were getting sold faster.   

To that effect, prison inmates in Telangana are producing thousands of masks, and several litres of hand santisers for doctors, health workers, policemen, among others who are working in the frontline to fight the pandemic.

“The inmates were trained by chemists on how to make sanitisers, while professional tailors at the prisons taught them how to stitch masks,” an official told NDTV.

Since the demand for these products rose across the nation, the state’s prisons department chose 50 inmates to stitch masks and produce sanitisers. About 9,000 face masks alongside 3,000 litres of hand sanitiser are being produced every single day at Chanchalguda and Cherlapally central prisons in Hyderabad. 

"The sanitisers and face masks are being supplied to the officials of medical and health, police, revenue and municipality departments, who have been deployed at various levels to maintain complete lockdown," said State Prisons Inspector General (IG) B Saidhaiah to The New Indian Express.

These 50 inmates make 2,000 face masks every day at Chanchalguda central prisons. So far, they have sold over 30,000 face masks and around 6,000 litres of sanitiser. These sustainable masks, manufactured by the prisoners, are washable and reusable and are priced lower than similar products in the market.

In a similar light, the inmates at Uttar Pradesh’s Ghaziabad and Gautam Buddh Nagar jails have produced 85,000 washable, cotton face masks. Of the 85,000 masks, 57,000 were made at Dasna jail in Ghaziabad, while 27,500 were made at the Luksar Jail in Gautam Buddh Nagar. Prisoners earn a daily wage between Rs 25 and Rs 40, depending on whether they are skilled, semi-skilled, or unskilled. 

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Edited by Suman Singh


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