Prisons Dept Opens The First Prisoner-Run Restaurant In Pune; Will Serve Vada Pav, Kaanda Bhaji & More

by Vaishalee Kalvankar
Prisons Dept Opens The First Prisoner-Run Restaurant In Pune; Will Serve Vada Pav, Kaanda Bhaji & More

The Department of Prisons and Correctional Services in Maharashtra opened the first restaurant in a planned franchise on Wednesday. The first restaurant has been opened near Yerwada Jail in Pune. The initiative is titled “Shrunkhala”, which means series or chain. Under this, prisoner-run eateries will be set up across the state. This means that it will be managed by the prison inmates like life convicts and cater to citizens. 

Prisons Dept Opens The First Prisoner-Run Restaurant In Pune

Credits: Canva

The first prisoner-run unit, which has been set up just next to the Yerawada Open Prison in Pune, is known as the Yerwada Open Prison Canteen. The aim is to serve a large working population at commercial centres and business hubs in that area.

Initially, the restaurant will have a staff of 15 life convicts. out of these, seven are on kitchen duty and eight more are for service. The ones in the first restaurant are all serving their life sentences for murder.

The administration plans to increase the number of workers from 15 to 25 as business grows. The prisoners working at the eatery have been given a uniform, a T-shirt, and pants.

The Finolex Group, which has its headquarters in Pune, has helped launch the initiative. According to officials, profits from the restaurant will go towards the inmates’ welfare fund, and those employed here will receive the daily salary allotted for their job in prison.

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Traditional Maharashtrian Snacks On Menu

Credits: Canva

The prisoner-run restaurant’s current menu offers traditional Maharashtrian snacks like vada pav, misal pav, and kanda bhaji in addition to other favourites like samosa, pulao, rice plate, veggie curry and roti, pav bhaji, and hot beverages. 

Because they are simpler to start with, the department decided to serve the standard fare. But according to Anil Khamkar, Superintendent of Yerawada Open Prison, they hope to expand the menu. They plan to add some more traditional Marathi cuisines and certain products for calorie-conscious consumers. 

Some of the prisoners who are employed already have the necessary skills, including the ability to cook and work in the kitchen. They want to keep one batch for a predetermined amount of time before bringing in a new batch to operate the restaurant, and so on. (As per Indian Express)

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Cover Image Courtesy: Canva