As the saying goes: “Give a man a fish, and he will have food for one day. Teach him how to fish, and he will have food for a lifetime.”
The Radisson Hotel Shimla in the Himalayan Mountains in India has created a positive wave of change in the lives of local inmates. Several years ago the hotel provided a baking oven to a nearby prison. Soon the hotel was receiving requests for recipes and help with baking skills. It became evident that merely donating the oven was not sufficient, but also that inmates could benefit from skills training. Today, Radisson chefs regularly teach the inmates and on occasion, the inmates even come to the hotel for training.
As the relationship has grown, the hotel has donated several more ovens and supporting equipment. This intense cooperation has led to the establishment of a bakery unit within the prison, which has set up a sales counter for their bakery products. The income from the sale of bakery goods provides an opportunity for the inmates to support their families; and more importantly, the inmates have developed a skill to support their rehabilitation and make a lasting difference in their lives.
This initiative has been a positive example for other prisons in India that are now working to replicate the program.