One evening, I went to buy a new notebook at the grocery store since I was short on paper. Once there, I found the seller in his underwear smearing lotion on his body. I asked him:
“Is that Vaseline?”
Many people liked using it as a means to hydrate their dry skin because of the environmental grime in here.
He responded: “No, that’s too expensive for me. This is mustard oil from the fields.”
Behind him on the shelves were Vaseline jars. I found it surprising that he could not afford a jar. Actually, it was logical. To keep the products from being trafficked, the stock and the price were strictly controlled by the naike. The seller must give the naike the total inventory number and it must correspond exactly to the number of products sold.
For this, the naike pay him a pitiful salary each trimester which amounts to a sum of between 50 and 100 Rupees a day. The rest goes to the provosts and the jailor who rents the concessions. This is why the poor guy could not afford a jar of Vaseline even though he was selling it all day long.
There are many poorly paid small jobs: cooks, dry cleaners, sellers, butchers, masons, craftsmen, dishwashers…There are also those who spend their days threading plastic beads on nylon thread. They often do that at night during power outages using the light from their headlamps.
Some made sets for women and sell them outside of the prison, others made small items such as lighter covers. All of these guys were employed by the prisoners-guards who provided them with the material, collected the finished products and paid them a skimpy salary when he had time.
Moreover, contrary to what I had thought, the cost of living is not cheaper in prison. It is more expensive. Profit margins are greater. With a few exceptions, everything is more expensive here, which is scandalous in light of the few jobs and especially the paltry wages.
A needy person without financial support is simply crushed by the prices and has no purchasing power. Unfortunately, the exploitation of Man by Man does not stop at the door of prisons, it begins there.