No Escape from Illegal Alcohol

In Karauli, Rajathan, scheme for rehabilitating bootleggers falls through.

The state of Rajasthan is a major centre for the illegal bootlegging of liquor. The activity is responsible for the loss of several thousand crore rupees each year to the excise department of the state. Many families across Rajasthan are involved in illegal brewing & sale. In an effort to end the loss to the state coffers and rehabilitate the families involved the Government announced the ‘Navjeevan Yojna’ in 2010 which offers vocational training and small loans which will help rehabilitate the families by helping them find new livelihoods and start small businesses.

While reports of schemes success have poured in from many parts of the state, Sunita Kasera, Community Correspondent from Karauli District, Rajasthan begs to differ. Says Sunita,” The scheme is certainly being implemented but not fully and efficiently. The training camps are being held but the loans and equipment are not being provided. So the people attended the training and then find themselves with no option but to return to brewing.”

Sunita’s concern is for the women involved in the trade. They are mostly from poor dalit communities; they are uneducated and are struggling to make ends meet. “Life is a vicious cycle for them,” says Sunita. “The fact that they are involved in an illegal scheme of things makes them even more vulnerable.  They deserve a chance at a better life.”

Around 10 million rupees have been allocated to the Navjeevan Yojna and local NGOs and other philanthropic organizations have assigned as collaborators to ensure the implementation. Inspite of the sweeping ambition of the scheme, very little has changed for the bootleggers Karauli and the women who attended the training are disillusioned. Repeated requests to the District Collector and NGOs involved have yielded no response.

“What is the use of formulating a scheme if it does not reach and change the lives of the very people it was intended for? I sincerely request the authorities to look into the matter.”

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