A large number of people involved in illicit liquor manufacture in Bharatpur district of Rajasthan have been saved from the ordeal and assisted through a “Navjeevan Yojana,” which has raised their social status, given them dignified livelihood and brought prosperity to their households.

These persons were earlier on the run, sometimes fearing policemen and on other occasions facing the wrath of the Excise Department officers. The illegal work of hooch manufacturing was usually done in darkness to escape the glare of the authorities.

Four such persons, who have been rescued from the pain and tribulation of doing an unlawful work, belong to Kumharedi and Dundawali villages of Nagar tehsil in Bharatpur district. They were arrested several times in the past on charges of being involved in the crime, which brought to them insult and humiliation in society.

Even though their families desired that they should leave that job, these persons were lured by easy money in the business. They were not willing to leave it unless something some profitable alternative trade was arranged for them at home or they were rehabilitated.

The Navjeevan Yojana launched by the State government recently came as a blessing for these persons. The Nagar panchayat samiti handed over the task of implementing the scheme to Lupin Human Welfare & Research Foundation, which conducted a survey and identified Prem Chand of Nagar, Sher Singh of Dundawal and Nand Kishore and Lakhan Singh of Kumharedi village as the first beneficiaries.

Lupin Foundation executive director Sita Ram Gupta said here on Sunday that special efforts, including an educational tour, were made to change the mindset of the selected persons and encourage them to take up dignified self-employment ventures.

Mr. Gupta said though the four persons expressed their desire to start a self-employment activity, they did not have sufficient money. Following the foundation’s intervention, the Small Industries Development Bank of India sanctioned loans worth Rs.10,000 to each of them.

The results are fairly encouraging. Prem Chand opened a kirana shop, Sher Singh started poultry farm business, Nand Kishore took up buffalo rearing and Lakhan Singh opened a general store. Lupin Foundation officials, keeping an eye on the activities of the four beneficiaries for the past month, have noted that they are doing hard work with enthusiasm.

The four persons have slowly joined the mainstream of society, while their family members came forward to support them in their pursuits. Mr. Gupta said that most of the criminal cases of manufacture and sale of illicit liquor pending against them had been cleared.

While the Navjeevan Yojana has assisted in the rehabilitation of people waiting for support and helped them take their households to the path of prosperity, the Lupin Foundation is trying to extend the benefits of various welfare schemes of the government to these reformed persons.