In Delhi's Prison, Business as Usual

Prisoners gathered at Tihar Jail, Delhi, India in October, 2007. (Stand Up and Take Action/Flickr)

Asia's largest prison, Delhi's Tihar Jail is notorious for its overcrowding and tough criminals, but a new business endeavor may help inmates with a sense of self-worth.

Taking its first step into online retailing, the Indian capital's Tihar Jail is offering goods over the Internet made by inmates, including murderers and kidnappers, producing a wide variety of baked goods, furniture, weaving, tailoring, oil extraction, paper, and shoes.

In the last financial year, its annual revenue passed an impressive $2.5 million, and after opening stores across Delhi, prison authorities launched in a latest marketing idea. The website showcases photographs of food, furniture, clothing, and painting, all made by convicts. The computer-savvy inmates also wrote the html coding for the website.

Although orders can only be made over the phone, prison authorities are hoping orders can be made online starting as early as December.

According to news service AFP, the deputy superintendent of the prison factory Pradeep Sharma said not all laborers are chosen to work, but those with a "low risk."

To view a slideshow of prisoners working in Tihar Jail, click here.