YLTP reforms alcoholic, spurs change in HP

Meenakshi Chauhan

Shimla: A group of 20 YLTP graduates have been running a self-help group for the past seven years. For their honesty and initiative, they have won state-level awards from NABARD. Their expertise is in pickle making, ancient and natural way of making flour, growing mushrooms, and sweets.

Nand Lal, 35, was an alcoholic with a trouble married life and family problems when he did the course seven years back.  He would drink the whole day and feel miserable. His business wasn’t going well too because of his drinking habit. He would fight with customers.

After doing the program he left drinking alcohol, sent around 150 youth from his village and nearby to undergo the same programme. With the help of these youth he formed a self help group. The groups started making pickles and marketing it with the help of Art of Living. He also ventured into mushroom cultivation. Mushrooms can be grown in the winter in Himachal Pradesh. For this they distributed the work among themselves.

The group also revived an old way of making flour with the help of a water flour mill. Now this network of self help groups is looking for loans or an investment to expand their business.

They also inspired the prisoners of Mandi jail to make jute bags that were marketed with the help of Art of Living.  

Now they have linked up with 10 more self-help groups with the help of Nabard and are looking forward to getting a loan from Nabard.