The men in khaki in Vellore have adopted a new method to educate and empower women folk, to eradicate brewing and selling of illicit liquor in remote villages located on the fringe of the Tamil Nadu-Andhra Pradesh border, in the district.
The once notorious bootleggers from Pathapalayam, who used to brew illicit liquor atop of Muthurayankulam, a hill in Chittoor district in AP, and smuggled it to most parts of the district have now turned into law-abiding citizens. Thanks to the police department’s effort to create a sustainable livelihood for the women of the village, who stood against their men, who were continuing the illegal activities.
Adopting Pathapalayam two years ago, the police had arranged for bank loans and free training in various fields, and created employment opportunities for the women folk by roping in private sectors and banks.
“Our efforts have empowered the women. They stopped their men from indulging in illicit liquor activities. They have also become the department’s source in monitoring suspicious movements along the border areas,” Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) of Gudiyattam K Sundaram said. Initially, the police had arranged for loans of `40,000 each to 25 families to buy milch cows.
“After giving up the illegal activity, I have turned into an agriculture labourer. Though I get a small income, I am happy to lead a peaceful life,” ward Councillor of the village V Subramani, who had worked as labourer for a bootlegger few years ago, said.
“In fact, we handed over three persons from our village two months ago, for continuing their illegal activities. We have brought discipline to the village,” R Rupan, a villager said.
Police had also arranged for six-month free tailoring course for 32 women in the village. Further the department is also planning to arrange free diploma courses in electrical, electronics, carpentry and driving, for the youth.