Bangladesh Department of Prisons has moved to change the lunch menu for the inmates attending courts, said a Home Ministry circular on Thursday.
The Home Ministry wrote to the Finance Ministry, seeking additional fund for the improved diet. As the Expenditure Control Wing of Finance Ministry responded positively to that application, the Home Ministry on Thursday issued the circular, signed by assistant secretary Mohammad Ali.
Each prisoner attending court hearing from now on will get a lunch, worth Tk 30; replacing the 231 year old colonial-era “midday meal”, worth Tk 3.60, for a court attending prisoner that was consisted of 46.42-gram chira (flattened rice) and 14.58-gram gur (molasses).
“Tk 3.60 for lunch for an inmate is inhuman,” wishing anonymity, a Home Ministry official told.
According to the circular issued by the Home Ministry, one of the primary aims of changing the court attending inmates’ lunch menu is to stop relatives of the inmates from supplying drugs and numerous food items to the latter within court premises. The illegal practice needs to be stopped, said the circular.
The jail authorities in last January changed the breakfast menu for convicts, aiming to improve their health and nutritional intakes. The new menu consists of khichuri, halwa, bread and vegetables.
Apart from the midday meal, the expenditure for shifting inmates from one jail to another has been raised to Tk 100, which previously was Tk 18.
In its recent welfare initiatives, Bangladesh Department of Prisons established a garment factory within the premises of Narayanganj Jail that is being run by the inmates, who get 50 percent profit of the sales proceedings.