Eco-crusaders: Murder convicts' relentless efforts blossom at Rohtak jail

Eco-crusaders: Murder convicts' relentless efforts blossom at Rohtak jail

Inmates at a mini-forest grown on the premises of Sunaria jail. Tribune photo

Tribune News Service

Sunit Dhawan

Rohtak, May 18

Call it atonement or transformation, but the relentless efforts put in by a handful of murder convicts undergoing imprisonment at Sunaria jail in Rohtak have turned a portion of the prison premises into a mini-forest in just about a year.

“We have grown nearly 5,000 shady and fruit-bearing trees and medicinal plants of 35 varieties on this chunk of land,” says Parmod, a resident of Aasan village in Rohtak district, who is undergoing life imprisonment in a case of murder.

Apart from him, Ombir of Sunaria village, Paramjit and Rajesh of Karontha village, Sunil of Girawar and Vinod of Mokhra village, all of whom are serving life terms in cases of murder, spend their days in nurturing and taking care of the plants grown by them on the jail premises.

“We come to the plantation area by 7 am and work till noon. Then, we have our food, rest for a while and go back to the plants again. We return to our prison cells in the evening,” says Ombir.

Rajesh and Paramjit, who are brothers, state that remaining engrossed in plantation and caring for plants gives them much-needed solace and tranquility. “We get peace of mind and sleep well after working in the plantation area for the entire day,” says Parmod.

Head Constables Ashok Goyat and Harmail Singh, who have been deployed to keep an eye on the prisoners, also supervise and help them with gardening. The Sunaria Jail Superintendent, Suneel Sangwan, maintains that the plantation drive is being carried out with the help of Japanese forestry technique Miyawaki which enables fast and dense growth of plants. “The plantation activity is transforming not only the jail premises, but also the prisoners. The inmates engaged in gardening have shown good behaviour and conduct, which is a positive sign,” says Sangwan, who is an environment enthusiast himself and also turned the Jhajjar jail complex into a green land during his posting there earlier.

The jail superintendent’s efforts have not only been appreciated by the local administration, but also replicated at a sugar mill located in the district.


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