Igniting Ideas For impact

Embarking on a transformative journey through six chapters, we traverse India's landscape, exploring pioneering startups and their revolutionary...

10 months

Biogas & Bank Accounts: 5 Things Our Prisons Can Learn from This Chandigarh Jail

In a first, an exclusive outlet called Srijan located at Sector 22 in Chandigarh, will stock products like furniture and food products that the jail inmates make.

Biogas & Bank Accounts: 5 Things Our Prisons Can Learn from This Chandigarh Jail

Burail Jail or Model Jail, situated in Chandigarh, currently houses between 400 to 450 convicts. Lately, the prison has been in the news for running initiatives to bring a positive change in the inmates, put their potential to use and contribute to the society.

Rid your grocery shopping of plastic forever! Made of cotton, this bag is sturdy and can hold up to 7-8 kgs at a time.

The Better India spoke to Deepak Kumar, Welfare Officer, Model Jail, to understand these initiatives better.

1. Bio Gas

Representative image Source: MacKay Savage/Flickr


The Burail Jail has set-up two biogas plants in the outskirts of the jail to make cooking eco-friendly. This, in turn, has helped save almost 45 per cent of their regular fuel expenditure. The project was inaugurated on Mahatma Gandhi’s 151st birth anniversary. The plants, set up at a cost of Rs 18 lakhs, will use as fuel, two trolleys of cow dung and four to five quintals of household waste collected dailyfrom the houses of jail authorities and the jail kitchen.

Virat, Joint IG Prison, said, “Biogas has zero net greenhouse emissions and the organic matter used in biogas plants is typically a waste product. By using biogas, we will be able to reduce the amount of food waste and other organic materials being sent to landfill.”

2. Retail

A three-seater bench made by the inmates. Source


In a first, an exclusive outlet called Srijan located at Sector 22 in Chandigarh, stocks products like furniture and food products that the jail inmates make. “One of our fast selling products are replicas of the original Le Corbusier designed furniture. They attract many people to the showroom as well,” informs Deepak.

You can also purchase wooden chairs, baby chairs, cabinets, and candles made by the jail inmates from the Burail Jail’s official website. “We have various departments that work on the furniture; designing, carpentry, painting, polishing, and welding. On an average, an inmate is able to complete one chair a day,” shares Deepak.

He also mentioned how they supply many of their products to schools across Chandigarh.

3. Kuteer

The regular barracks the Burail jail inmates live in have now been replaced with kuteers (cottages). Each of these kuteers are named after freedom fighters, brave women, and those whose stories will inspire the inmates.

According to this report, O P Mishra, IG (Prisons), Burail Jail, says, “Burail jail will be the first in the country which will not have barracks for the inmates. The inmates will be in kuteer now. The idea has been conceived to give a positive look to the jail, and remove the negativity regarding the jail cells. There are a total of 17 barracks in Burail jail — 16 male and one female barrack.”

Some of the names that have been given to the kuteers include – Annie Besant, Neerja Bhanot, Rani Lakshmibai, Guru Nanak Dev, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, and Jawahar lal Nehru.

4. Bank accounts

Earlier this year, the convicts at the Burail Jail were given bank accounts. This will enable the jail authorities to directly transfer the wages of the inmates to their bank accounts. As of now, convicts receive cheques for their wages. The bank account has the same address as mentioned in Aadhaar or any other official document that the convict might have.

According to this report, the IG of the jail said, “The incident of an inmate who stole a cheque from the jail office and transferred money to his account prompted us to take the decision towards streamlining the process of paying the wages to the convicts.”

5. No plastic

Since 2 October 2019, the jail authorities have barred the use of single-use plastic within the premise. “We have started converting old clothes and bedsheets into cloth bags, this has reduced our plastic bag dependency,” says Deepak.

When asked what they serve food in, he says, “We have shifted to steel plates, tumblers and spoons from plastic utensils.”

The word jail does not evoke positive images. Our brain associates jails with stench-clogged corridors and containment cells filled with convicts and under trial prisoners. In our country, most jails would check these boxes. However, the initiatives of Burail jail are steps in the right direction that others should learn from.

Also Read: FSSAI Ban on Chinese Milk Products: What is Melamine & How It Can Harm Your Health

(Edited by Saiqua Sultan)

Like this story? Or have something to share?
Write to us: [email protected]
Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

If you found our stories insightful, informative, or even just enjoyable, we invite you to consider making a voluntary payment to support the work we do at The Better India. Your contribution helps us continue producing quality content that educates, inspires, and drives positive change.

Choose one of the payment options below for your contribution-

By paying for the stories you value, you directly contribute to sustaining our efforts focused on making a difference in the world. Together, let’s ensure that impactful stories continue to be told and shared, enriching lives and communities alike.

Thank you for your support. Here are some frequently asked questions you might find helpful to know why you are contributing?

Support the biggest positivity movement section image
Support the biggest positivity movement section image

This story made me

  • feel inspired icon
  • more aware icon
  • better informative icon
  • do something icon

Tell Us More



See All