Hundreds of Jharkhand women quit liquor trade in bid to become self-reliant
About150 women have shunned the liquor business to move on to other vocations such as dairy farming, horticulture and vegetable vending etc.
Sangita Das is no more sustaining her family by selling home-made Hadiya (rice beer) and Mohua (locally brewed liquor from Mohua flower). She left the trade in October last year. With help from the National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM), she is now on her way to not just being self-reliant but linking her husband by setting up and running a grocery shop in Tumagyngri village under Uttari Moubhandar panchayat in of Jharkhand's East Singhbhum district.
“I had no other option but to sell hadiya and mohua to sustain my family of two children, mother-in-law, father-in-law and an unemployed husband. In 2017, I joined a women self-help group (SHG) where I came to know about the social evils of drinking and how many families have been ruined owing to drunkard husbands. Many women narrated how their husbands would beat them up in inebriated condition and how it affected the children. This made me take the vow to leave the business of liquor,” Sangita said.
She started a grocery shop in October 2020 after closing down her liquor business by taking an interest-free loan of ₹10,000 from Maa Durga SHG under Phulo Jhano Ashirvad Yojna under NRLM.
“Now I am earning ₹200-330 every day from the grocery shop while I have now arranged a source of income for my husband also by the same capital. “He now sells vegetables that also takes care of our daily requirement of food items and other items of daily use. On the other hand, I am earning ₹7000-10,000 per month from my grocery shop, much more than what I used to earn by selling liquor earlier," she said.
Sangita, however, is not the lone woman from the rural hinterland of the district to have left the business of country-made liquor. She is among 150 such women who had shunned the liquor business and moved on to other vocations such as dairy farming, horticulture and vegetable vending etc. They are now earning a sustainable livelihood away from the evils of the liquor business.
“Under the Philo Jhano Ashivad Scheme, women are counselled and motivated to leave the business of liquor and start alternate businesses or vocations for livelihood under the NRLM. The scheme came into effect in September 2020 and about 150 women have already shifted to alternate sources of income after closing down their illegal liquor business. Soft interest-free loans are given to such women from Didi SHGs through Johar Yojna, revolving fund and community investment fund for starting new businesses provided they shun the business of liquor under the scheme,” Xavier Ekka, district programme manager of Jharkhand State Livelihood Promotion Society (JSLPS), said.
As per Xavier, they identified as many as 581 women selling home-made liquor across the district of which 150 have shifted to other businesses while they were counselling and working with another 221 women presently. “We will take up another 210 such women in the next phase of the scheme for self-empowerment,” added Xavier.