The Yerawada Central Prison hosts nearly three hundred women inmates and ten times the number of men. Prisoners are allowed to engage in income generation activities and the savings they make are credited to their accounts and sent home to their families. eCoexist worked in the Yerawada Prison for five years, and the Rang Dulaar Holi colours were packaged and dispatched from the prison. We also introduced other projects such as converting flower waste into natural colours and stitching cloth bags with the women.
The Yerawada Central Prison in Pune houses nearly 350 women inmates for various offences from pity thefts to murder. Women on a life sentence may spend at least 14 years in prison. During this time they are allowed to do labor and earn some funds to send home or save for their future. The workshop in the women section of the Yerawada Prison gives them basic training in different skills and an occupation that can keep their minds focused and bodies active as they serve out their terms.
eCoexist started its engagement with the Yerawada prison in 2008 in response to a invitation to private companies to bring work to the prison. For the next five years , we engaged the women in various different projects that involved semi skilled labor . To coordinate these projects, the eCoexist team worked in and alongside the inmates, getting to know their stories and helping rebuild their self esteem and confidence.
For our team, this experience was a deep lesson in the prejudices society holds against those serving term and also an understanding in the process of forgiveness and reform.
Wages for the prisoners were paid to the prison authorities as per the rules laid out by their system.