Presently three prisons in the state -- Poojapura central jail in Thiruvananthapuram, Viyoor central jail in Thrissur and the Kozikode district jail have started the venture, which is running successfully with about 60,000 chapaties being made on an average daily with the help of machines by prisoners, says Chief Welfare Officer, Jail department, K A Kumaran.
While Central prison at Thiruvananthapuram markets its chapaties as 'Poojapura Chapaties', Viyoor jail inmates branded their product as 'Freedom Chapaties'.
There are also plans to start similar ventures in Ernakulam district jail and Kollam jail, Kumaran said. A proposal in this regard would be submitted to the state government soon, he said.
In Poojapura central jail, 40,000 chapaties, besides 3,500 packets of chicken and 500 packets of vegetarian curries are made on an average daily, says B Pradeep, Superintendent, Central Prison.
The demand for these ready-to-eat chapaties are so huge, they are sold in no time, he said. While a packet containing five chapaties and chicken curry is priced at Rs 25, it is Rs 20 for same set with vegetable curry, he said.
The chapaties are ready by 9 am at the three outlets at Thiruvananthapuram. People queue up to take away the packets, he said, adding the counters are open till 6 pm and fresh chapaties are sent as per demand. Bulk orders are also coming during Sundays which are accepted, he said.
Convicts serving life imprisonment are among those participating in the venture launched by Tamil film Actor-Director Cheran two months ago. Earlier, only chapaties were made but from Jan 18 this year, the curries were also prepared and sold.
In Poojapura jail, the two chapati making machines costing about Rs 2.5 crore each have been installed.