Agartala: If you are in Agartala, the capital of Tripura, don’t forget to check out the bakery joint at Agartala City Centre.
After all, it’s not just another bakery. All the food items offered in the cafe — 20 to be precise — and three beverages are prepared by jail inmates, straight from the Central Correctional Home at Bishalgarh.
The bakery joint is an initiative of the Tripura Rural Livelihood Mission (TRLM) and Tripura Correctional Station (TRICOS). It was inaugurated by Tripura deputy chief minister Jishnu Dev Verma on Saturday.
Speaking with reporters, Dev Veram said that the initiative is one of its kind. “The name of the bakery shop is ‘TRICOS’ and it’s a multipurpose showroom cum bakery. A snooker table is also set up here for the young people visiting here to have a cup of coffee. Handicraft products will be also available here, which have been made by the prisoners,” he added.
Women of self-help groups (SHG) would be engaged to promote this bakery shop. Up to 30% of the profit would be shared with the SHGs. “It is a pilot project, but if the initiative is successful, then we shall spread the business across the state,” Dev Verma said.
The bakery joint will offer 20 food items such as patties, cakes, buns, loafs and biscuits and three beverages – all within Rs 40. A cappuccino can be all yours for Rs 25 bucks, a latte for Rs 20 and a hot cuppa for Rs 10.
The project will help to generate employment, said Dev Verma. “During my visit to the Central Jail a few months ago, I got to try out the bakery items there. I was amazed by the taste and quality. After that, we decided to support the initiative from our end. The prisoners are doing a good work,” said Dev Verma.
Meanwhile, Tripura inspector general of prisons Joydeep Nayak said: “We opened the bakery to promote the products made by jail inmates of the central jail. The environment at the bakery joint is ideal to attract the youngsters. The shop can also promote all the handicrafts and other products made by the prisoners.”
There are a total of 14 jails spread across the state. “We are trying to spread this business all over. Right now, 25 inmates are engaged in the business. About six months ago, we set up a model bakery at the Central Jail,” Nayak added.