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Two jails in Odisha have opened canteens that would serve snacks and beverages to inmates who go without food for long hours between dinner and breakfast, senior prison officials said.
The departmental canteens have been allowed at the Circle Jail in Choudwar of Cuttack and the Special Jail at Jharpada in the state capital, said B K Sharma, DGP Prisons, Odisha.
The inmates can purchase snacks and beverages of their choice inside the four walls of the jail, Sharma said.
Canteen facilities would remain open from 10 am to 6 pm, jail officials said, adding, they were required because many of the inmates stay without food between dinner at 5 pm and breakfast at 7 am.
Sharma said the jail authorities have tied up with some leading brands to cater to the additional food requirements of the inmates at the canteens, which would offer vada, aloo chop, samosa, biscuits, cakes, tea, lassi and cold drinks and mineral water.
The inmates can also purchase soaps at the canteens.
The state's prison authorities have also decided to open similar facilities in at least 10 other major jails in due course of time, the officials said.
The inmates can utilise the stipends to purchase the food items at a reasonable price, he said, adding, the canteens are managed by the prisoners themselves.
Money earned from the facilities will be deposited in the Prisoners' Welfare Fund for maintaining the jail libraries, providing better facilities, and making provisions for other supplies and schemes.