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Plastic Ban: Vijayawada Prisoners get skill development training to make cloth bags

The Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) is set to partner with prisoners of the District Jail, in its move to ban single-use plastic in the city. Prisoners will now receive skill training for a new livelihood — making of paper, jute and cloth bags as alternatives to plastic ones. 
 
Jail authorities have said that the move will provide an income source for prisoners, which will be used to provide better infrastructure facilities and other needs of prisoners. The products will be available to local businesses and consumers. 
 
District Jailor G Ravi Babu and representatives of the NGO Prison Fellowship India, met with VMC Additional Commissioner (General) K Shakuntala to discuss the partnership. At the meeting, the jail authorities asked the VMC to provide support in skill training for prisoners. 
 
Ravi Babu said that the training program is set to begin soon, in District Jail, located in Gandhinagar, Vijayawada. “There are about 250 prisoners in the jail. The training program will go on for 15 days. After that, we will be ready for production based on orders received,” said Ravi Babu. 
 
VMC officials have also suggested that once large scale production begins, the cloth bags can be bought by women’s self-help groups (SHGs) and sold at local bazaars organised by MEPMA (Mission for Elimination of Poverty in Municipal Areas). 
 
The VMC has assured support for the initiative, suggesting that it is an opportunity for prisoners to learn a new skill which can be an income source, and could also change the course of their lives.
 
The ban on single-use plastic was implemented across the Krishna district, from the second week of August. District Collector Md Imtiaz had told the media that special measures will be taken to enforce the ban, including ensuring the availability of cotton and cloth bags, paper bags and paper glasses. District officials had earlier said that almost 150 tonnes of single-use plastic was being generated in the city each day.
 

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