Special Correspondent

JAIPUR: An initiative for manufacturing and marketing of tulsi garlands in the remote Behtana village in Bharatpur district of Rajasthan has ensured profitable monetary returns for nearly 150 women who were earlier waging a daily struggle against poverty.

The Lupin Human Welfare and Research Foundation has launched the project for evolving a workable model for livelihood in the village which it had adopted about three years ago. The task of preparing tulsi garlands was selected in view of Behtana’s proximity to places of religious significance in neighbouring Uttar Pradesh.

According to an official release here, places such as Mathura, Govardhan and Vrindavan have a high demand for tulsi garlands. The Lupin Foundation invited an expert from Jait village in Mathura district to train women in fabricating the garlands. The Lupin Foundation provided loans of Rs.10,000 each to the women for purchasing new machines and arranged for bringing raw material from Jait. Women slowly acquired proficiency in the job and each of them is now stated to be earning Rs.4,000 to Rs.5,000 a month by manufacturing 40 tulsi garlands everyday. A number of traders were approaching the women’s group in Behtana and placing orders for bulk supply. Women in nearby villages such as Sinsini, Chuchawati, Songaon and Kheria falling in Deeg tehsil have evinced a keen interest in the project and started similar work.