NEW DELHI: Brand Tihar is going international this year with herbal gulal made by inmates exported to the US and the UK. The herbal colours are prepared by 88 jail inmates—50 men and 38 women—and this year, 18 tonnes (around one lakh boxes) of fresh rose (red), lalchandan (yellow), lemongrass (green), kesarhaldi (orange ), lily of the valley (pink) and pudina (sky blue) varieties have been made.
Tihar Jail has also received an invite to take part in an international fair in Dubai where these colours will be showcased. The colours contain no heavy metals and are NABL (National Accredition Board for Testing & Calibration Laboratories)-approved . They are available in 100 and 50 gram packets and are priced at Rs 80 and Rs 40, respectively.
"We have received tremendous response. The colours are available at all Tihar outlets, 40 online portals and six malls in Delhi, Gurgaon and Ghaziabad ," Tihar Jail spokesperson Sunil Gupta said. While the colours have been exported to distributors overseas, jail authorities on Monday received an invitation to display them—and other products made by inmates—in the world's largest beauty and cosmetics fair in Dubai. The invitation has come through ITPO. About 50 nations will be taking part.
"We've generated a lot of international interest. When given opportunity and purpose in life, inmates can contribute to society in many ways," Ashutosh Maharaj, founder of Divya Jyoti Jagrati Sansthan, that organizes the entire operation, said.
Interestingly, some prisoners have continued to work on the project even after being released . One is Lakhvinder, who takes care of the consignment, packaging and dispatch; another is Ajay who handles storing and inventory.