In a unique initiative to rehabilitate lady bootleggers of the state capital, officials of Gandhinagar police have started counseling sessions of 60 ‘listed’ female bootleggers with the help of NGO and other government officials.
As part of the ongoing process to turn them to mainstream, these female bootleggers, who were caught more than once for bootlegging, were called at the office of Archana Shivhare, Superintendent of Police(SP), Gandhinagar, few days back for guidance.
These listed female bootleggers were involved in making and selling of hooch as well as Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) in the jurisdiction of three major police stations of Gandhinagar, sector 7, sector 21, as well as Pethapur, Adalaj and Dehgam.
According to Shivhare, these women need help and guidance to start a new life, as they sometimes unwillingly enter into such illegal business. “They may not be doing it willingly. There can be some compulsion behind their act, and as time passes, they are left with no other option than to continue with it,” said Shivhare, who played a key role in guiding them to a better means of livelihood during the counseling session.
Among other officials, Minakshi Patel, a woman police inspector, was also involved in this initiative. “Being a woman, I can convince them to leave their illegal business. As many as 80% of them are widows, and do not have any other means, knowledge or money to do something else other than bootlegging, which is easy and a high-yielding business,” said Patel, who also gave details about how th ese women can earn by selling vegetables, working at beauty parlours, making incense sticks, papad or from sewing.
“These women were ready to leave bootlegging, but they lacked knowledge or confidence about how to start or whom to approach for financial help. We provided them guidance about schemes of state and central government as well as NGOs for such women.
They can also approach the Women and Child welfare department to seek financial help,” said Patel. According to her, all these women have expressed determination to kick bootlegging after the session.