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Asia
 

Restaurant run by Indian convicts wins praise for politeness, hygiene

Published on Jul 22, 2014 9:05 PM
 

NEW DELHI (REUTERS) - As India's capital baked in a heat wave, banker Gaurav Gupta sat down for lunch at a new air-conditioned restaurant, to be greeted by a smiling waiter who took his order for a traditional "thali" meal of flatbread, lentils, vegetables and rice.

Nothing unusual, except that the employee, like most of his colleagues, is a convicted murderer serving time in South Asia's largest prison complex. "Tihar Food Court" in west Delhi, a rehabilitation effort kicked off by the Tihar prison, opened in the first week of July on an "experimental basis" while awaiting formal clearances. It is sited half a km away from prisoners' dormitories.

With a spacious interior lined with wooden tables and walls adorned with paintings done by prisoners, the 50-seat restaurant has been praised for the polite behaviour of its employees, who were trained by a prestigious nearby hotel management school. "The food is average," said Mr Gupta. "But the hygiene factor is really good, very clean. And it's a good thing they are employing prisoners."

Restaurant manager Mohammad Asim said there are around 50 customers every day, with each worker paid 74 rupees (S$1.50) for the day's work.

 
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