Around May 2009, on invitation from the  Department of Prisons, Nizhal started the Green Prisons program at Puzhal. 

Nizhal planned a module that incorporated general aspects of horticulture/ agriculture and its scope as a livelihood. This module consists of  

  • Orientation program on horticulture/ agriculture
  • Growing vegetables
  • Disease and health management through Organic approach; 
  • Establishing composting units for solid waste management to generate organic manure
  • Recycling of grey water for cultivation 
  • Use of implements and gardening tools
  • Nursery raising – Indigenous tree saplings and ornamental plants
  • Development of entrepreneurship by linking prison department with marketing experts

The State Prison Campus at Puzhal, Chennai, has been greened with a diversity of appropriate species to create a pleasant environment. 

The success of this initiative at Puzhal Central Prison resulted in the authorities joining hands with Nizhal towards Green Prisons across Tamil Nadu - at Cuddalore, Trichy, Coimbatore,Madurai, Salem, Pudukottai, Palayamkottai and Vellore!

Prisons across the state have been linked with Nizhal’s organic experts in assisting and monitoring the execution of green project activities. As a result acres of fallow lands have been converted into productive lands generating vegetables for consumption in the prisons and surplus for sale through prison bazaars. The vermicompost generated is also being sold at these outlets under the brand name ‘Freedom’.

An MoU has been signed with a private consultant for marketing millets that are being grown.

Participants get to earn while in prison, pick up adequate skills to earn their living after release, and involve in the  therapeutic influence of organic farming work!

Truly a greening of lands and minds too!!!