Odisha’s rocky patch of hilly land, Nayagarh turned its sub-jail into a vegetable garden, giving inmates a chance to earn and rehabilitate themselves with some work of gardening. The inmates are growing vegetables like brinjal, onion, spinach and cucumber, besides spice turmeric.

Nayagarh sub-jail superintendent Umesh Chandra Balbantaray started the initiative with an objective to help the convicted inmates restore psychologically. Balbantaray, who was appointed over a year ago, believes that gardening will stimulate the inmates’ minds and ensure their physical well being.

The Jail authority has generated a revenue of over one lakh rupees by selling the vegetables in Nayagarh’s local markets. The money is in the government’s treasure and has been credited to each of the inmate’s “individual savings account”.

The inmates can get see the deposits through the passbook and help their families with the hard-earned money.

“For us, it’s not really about the revenue. I’m just happy that convicts are engaged in productive activity. Each person here has an individual savings account and their earnings are gathered in their passbooks, which greatly benefits their families too,” Balbantaray said as quoted by ANI.

Balbantaray added that the gardening skills that the inmates learn while serving the sentence will help them earn a living after they are released from the custody.