Rukum, November 20
The lives of inmates at Rukum District Prison have changed for the better after Suraj Pariyar, an inmate, started teaching bamboo weaving skills to fellow inmates.
Inmates at the prison have now been using their newly acquired skill to weave bamboo stools, bags, and other handicraft items, which are sold in the local market, helping inmates earn a reasonable income.
Pariyar of Ghetma, Rukum was imprisoned after being convicted of his involvement in the death of a person in a clash between then Unified CPN-Maoist cadres and CPN-UML cadres during the second Constituent Assembly elections at Ghetma in 2013.
“The prison was nothing more than a dark den when I first came here. Now, it has transformed into a small industry,” said Pariyar, adding that he earned around Rs 5,000 to 7,000 per month by selling bamboo products.
There are 69 inmates in the prison, 60 of them male, seven female, and two minors. An inmate Top Raj Khadka said the new engagement has not only helped them make some money, but killed their boredom.
“We used to have very little to do all day, and it used to be very difficult to pass time. But that has all changed now,” he said. Many prisoners said they intended to establish a bamboo weaving industry after their release from the prison.
Jailor Bal Bahadur KC claimed that bags made in the prison had become very popular in the district.
The inmates had invested money for the production of themselves.
Meanwhile, the inmates complained that the prison lacked sufficient drinking water and toilets, and had serious sanitation problems. There is only one toilet for the sixty male inmates, and the men often have to queue for long to relieve themselves.
The inmates said that the concerned authority had done nothing regarding the issue despite repeated complaints.
A version of this article appears in print on November 21, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.