India: Kerala capital gets first beauty parlour run by inmates of Poojapura Central Prison

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Now, the public can avail quality beauty services at lower rates with “Freedom Looks”, a men’s beauty salon manned by inmates of Central Prison, Poojapura, donning the role of beauticians. The parlour was inaugurated on Monday by Rishiraj Singh, Director-General of Prisons and Transport Commissioner R Sreelekha.

The initiative is part of the various rehabilitation programmes taken up by the Prison Department for the prisoners. Earlier, the prison had caught the attention of the public for its unique and successful initiatives which range from food business to garment production.

An unused building located near the jail was renovated for Rs 9 lakh, turning it into a well-furbished parlour equipped with facilities. This is the second beauty parlour in the state which is manned by the prison inmates after the Phoenix Freedom Xpressions at the Central Prison in Kannur.

“The idea was mooted by Sreelekha. Although there was a shortage of funds, we have been able to make the beauty parlour a reality. ***The money collected from this initiative will go to the welfare fund for prisoners which will help in starting more online services,”** said Rishiraj Singh. A petrol pump each manned by prison inmates will also start functioning in Thiruvananthapuram, Thrissur, Kannur and Kozhikode, he said. The proposal to construct 10 new jails is also on cards.

Sreelekha said: “The inmates are very talented and they are being trained by the officers at the prison. After completing their tenure, they are likely to get jobs outside. We also hope to open a women’s beauty parlour soon.”

Twenty-two inmates were given training in the beautician course. “The inmates will be employed at the salon on shifts. We have given more priority to those who have basic skills like hair cut, hair dyeing, spa, manicure, pedicure and facial,” said Ratheesh R C, assistant superintendent, Grade 1, Central Prison, Poojapura.

The public can avail all types of cosmetics-related services at the parlour. “We also plan to have a separate area for senior citizens who can avail services such as manicure and foot massage,” said Rishiraj Singh.