Yerawada Central Prison

Women prisoners at Yerawada Prison, Pune

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 labour and earn some funds to send home or save for their future. The workshop in the womens section of the Yerawada Prison gives them basic training in different skills and an occupation that can keep their minds focussed 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 labour . 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.

Projects involved:

  1. Packaging of Natural Holi colours
  2. Nirmala Flower segregation and drying
  3. Cloth bag production