A small plot of barren land, the same as countless others across the country, once sat adjacent to a police station in Ambalavayal, Kerala. It was wasting away in its arid state when the newly appointed SI (Sub-Inspector) Abbas Ali decided to turn it into an organic vegetable patch.
He took to the land with shovels, compost, and other paraphernalia necessary for farming. Using only organic products, he has been successful in turning the almost ruined wasteland into a thriving garden that produces more than 40 kinds of vegetables. These include tomato, brinjal, capsicum, green chilli, and peas. Committed to sustainability, the produce is then used in the station canteen, making them probably the only police station in the country that is self-sufficient.
“We are planning to make the barren land more useful by undertaking farming. This is a leisure activity for the police to get relaxation from the tension of the job,” said SI Abbas Ali in an interview with Mathrubhumi.
Initiated by SI Ali but soon picked up enthusiastically by his colleagues, organic farming serves more than just one purpose. As strenuous a job as that of a policeman could probably do with some downtime, and that’s exactly what the vegetable garden does for the people that have to be vigilant for most of their working hours. Dividing the responsibilities among themselves, the officers keep a regular check on the growth, which includes inspections every morning.
With the alarmingly high waste generation and ominous climate changes, sustainability and organic farming is something everyone should practice, to some degree, try and inculcate in their own lives. It’s inspiring to see the cops in Kerala leading by example.