While serving their jail terms, prisoners here are not sitting idle but working to restore pieces of furniture designed by legendary architects Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret. The products of the jail workshop will soon be displayed in Chandigarh's upscale galleries.
The prisoners have been manufacturing new furniture as well as restoring pieces of furniture left by Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier and his Swiss cousin Pierre Jeanneret, who designed this City Beautiful in the 1950s. Chairs designed by Le Corbusier, still found here, fetch high prices in the international market.
The prisoners have been trained to restore old furniture in a scientific manner.
'The major consignment of old broken furniture of the high court is undergoing repair and restoration in the jail factory. This furniture will be shortly showcased in the furniture gallery of the Beant Singh memorial and Chandigarh Centre for Performing and Visual Arts,' said N.P.S. Randhawa, assistant inspector general (prisons), Chandigarh.
'The jail restoration workshop was started, under the expert guidance, in January 2007. Since then the restored furniture is decorating countless homes of Chandigarh.'
To support prisoners, Union Territory Home Secretary Ram Niwas recently passed an order that all government offices in Chandigarh will buy furniture only from the model jail factory here.
'Our aim is to explore the talent of the inmates coupled with proper utilisation of their creativity. This initiative will certainly go a long way in building a sense of confidence, a sense of responsibility and occupational involvement among the jail inhabitants,' pointed out Randhawa.
The model jail of Chandigarh is considered one of the best prisons in the country.