Indian inmates take jail business online

NEW DELHI, October 28, 2010 (AFP) – Asia’s largest prison, Delhi’s Tihar Jail, has taken its first step into online retailing, offering goods over the Internet made by inmates including murderers and kidnappers. Tihar, notorious for its overcrowding and tough criminals, is home to a bakery which produces 13 kinds of biscuits and a vast paper-making unit that turns out high-end stationery under the TJ brand name.

Its workshops manned by 714 specially selected convicts also turn out doormats, shirts, black shoes, mustard oil, and polished benches that are used in Delhi government offices.

In the last financial year, its annual revenue passed 110 million rupees (2.5 million dollars), and after opening stores across the Indian capital, the prison authorities have now launched www.tihartj.nic.in

“In the last year and a half, we realised that we have good production capacity, so it was time to think of the marketing,” said Rajesh Goyal, the superintendent of the factory and the brains behind the website.

“We hope that this website will increase our visibility as more and more people in Delhi are using the Internet,” he said, adding that overall output is set to increase by 60 percent this financial