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Computer training at Cherlapally jail. Image source: http://www.bbc.co.uk

M Nageshwar, 37, is a software engineer who worked with a company for 10 years before he was found guilty of killing his wife and sentenced to life. Thanks to a unique program at the Cherrapally jail, he is leading a group of convicts who are training to work at a unique Business Process Outsourcing(BPO) unit.
Cherlapally jail is located on the outskirts of Hyderabad city in Andhra Pradesh. A conference room in the jail has been converted into a computer room where nearly a dozen prisoners are being trained to perform jobs such as data processing and data entry.

It will specialise in non-voice based, off-line outsourcing work like digitising records, legal documents, scripts, manuscripts and text books, and medical transcription, says K Mohan Menon, a manager with Radiant Info Systems, a Bangalore-based company which is assisting the venture as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

Typically, the convicts would be paid 15 rupees [33 cents] per day for work like making steel furniture or working on looms in the prison, but authorities expect to pay them 100 rupees [$2.2] to 150 rupees [$3.32] a day for working in the BPO unit.

Mr. Nageshwar has contested his case in the Supreme Court.

“I am excited about the project. Educated people like me can easily slip into depression when they are incarcerated. It is a relief for convicts like me and a good opportunity to prove ourselves,” he says.

Other inmates of the prison hope that this project would enable them to integrate into the mainstream after completion of their jail term.
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