Published: 11th July 2019
These Thrissur prisoners are cooking up a storm in the kitchen and Swiggy will deliver it to you
The prison's food unit Freedom Food Unit recently tied up with the online delivery platform Swiggy. The exclusive combo is as cheap as Rs 127
Picture a plate of flavourful chicken biriyani with some raita to go with. On the same plate, you also have three hot rotis, a portion of Kerala style chicken curry and a chicken leg roast. Fan of sumptuous meals? Do not be disappointed. You get a cupcake too. Now wait for the best part — you get all of this with a one litre bottle of water for just Rs 127! No, this isn't an utopic dream, but in fact, you can order this food combo from the food unit in Central Prison, Viyyur in Thrissur via Swiggy.
The prison which has a fully functional cooking and baking unit called Freedom Food Factory since 2011 expanded its services online on July 11. Just like the foodies in Thrissur, the prison inmates and the police officers are really excited about this. "The first one to propose this idea was Rishiraj Singh, the new Director General of Prisons and Correctional Services. He wanted to link up the food units in all the prisons in Kerala with online delivery systems. Upon this, we got in touch with delivery platforms and Swiggy was the first one to come up," says Nirmalanandan Nair, the prison's superintend. "We will be more than happy to tie up with other platforms like Zomato and Uber Eats," he adds. Currently, they deliver food in areas within 6 km radius of the prison.
Nair tells us how hte Freedom Food Factory developed over time. "It began as a small food unit that made chapati and chicken curry. We then started making biriyani and set up a baking unit. Now, we make chicken biriyani, egg biriyani, veg biriyani, chapati, chicken curry, chilly chicken, chicken fry, veg fry, egg curry, cakes, bread and bun here," he says.
Nair says that under the government's skill development programme, the prisoners are given classes on baking and cooking. Currently, around 100 people are employed here. "The inmates are often excited to work in the kitchen, as this fetches more money. We mostly employ people who have prior experience in cooking and managing restaurants," says Nair. A prisoner's daily wage is around 170 rupees. Nair says that this helps them cut down the cost a lot and helps them serve food at an affordable rate.
The unit has a sales counter set up in front of the prison from where delivery executives can collect their orders. The Viyyur prison authorities are now conducting studies, exploring the possibility of setting up a salon within the prison.