Hyderabad: Clicking on a public-private partnership with global IT firm Radiant Info Systems, the Hyderabad's Cherlapally Central Jail will become the only prison in the country to have a BPO unit in its premises, reports Saswati Mukherjee from the Economic Times.
While Radiant Info Systems will invest money and expertise in the unit, prison authorities will provide space and labour. To begin with, the BPO will function in three shifts, with a strength of around 70 odd inmates in one shift. The prisoners will work from within the 'closed space' of the BPO office and will be taken out of the locked enclosure at the beginning and end of each shift.
Jail officials said that after the BPO is set up, the "interest level and aptitude" of the inmates will be considered before involving them in this ambitious project. According to C N Gopinatha Reddy, Director General of prisons, Andhra Pradesh, as many as 200-250 inmates could be engaged in the BPO unit and they will be shortlisted from inmates that are matriculates and graduates. Officials explained that those shortlisted would first be trained by experts and later absorbed by the BPO company.
"For starters, the convicts working at the BPO would not have access to phones as is the case in a call centre. They would be involved in bank-related work of data entry and transfer," said Reddy. "The idea is to ensure that on being released, the prisoners find it easy to get absorbed in the mainstream. Prisoners often find getting suitable employment post release a tough task. So, this is an attempt to ensure that their employers know them well in advance."