From Hooch to Honey, Barabanki steps out from the whirlpool of illicit businesses

Police officials promote apiculture in UP's Barabanki as an alternate source of livelihood than production of illegal whiskey

Uttar Pradesh's Barabanki district was sucked into a vortex of production and sale of illicit hooch, low quality whiskey when this largest opium producer was hemmed in too many restrictions. However, with continuous and novel efforts of the police, a new chapter begins for the district of Barabanki that is turning towards honey culturing as an alternate means of income.

Apiculture farms in Barabanki

Located about 27 kilometers from capital Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh's Barabanki district is now turning from hooch to honey as more and more farmers, youth and those sucked in illicit business are being encouraged by district police and administration to take up apiculture- the practice of keeping bees and their hives.

Initiating the first steps towards the generation of an alternate source of income in Chainpurva village, Superintendent of police, Arvind Chaturvedi, along with other district officials held several meetings with the villagers and suggested that they take up bee-keeping as an alternate vocation. "We found that these families were stuck in a cycle that revolved around illicit liquor. Despite police action and jail sentences, the family members remained a part of the cycle due to lack of suitable alternatives. We decided to find new opportunities for these people," Chaturvedi said. The officials made efforts to translate people's vision of a better future by making them realise that they could earn a respectable living from beekeeping and secure a better future for themselves.

Police Assistance for Grieving Families

"We selected 84 families of the village which were linked to hooch trade. In these families, there are 32 widows who lost their husbands due to consumption of spurious liquor in the past years. These families were provided basic training of beekeeping and in two months, they are now ready to take up the vocation," the SP said. At present, these families are engaged in 'diya' making, crafting decorative and ordinary lamps from bees' wax.

The raw material for this activity is being supplied by the district farmers who have progressively shifted to apiculture. The police officials are buying these lamps for family and friends, initiating a sale. The SP also stated that the families involved in beekeeping will be assisted by the police until they are able to independently provide for themselves.

-With inputs from IANS

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