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Bracelets : Made from liquor bottles

Patna (Bihar) factory off to a good start of world class Bracelets : India.

A Sabalpur factory that makes glass bracelets from confiscated liquor bottles has not been in short supply in Bihar since the state banned alcohol in April 2016. The factory, which began operations on February 17, a few months after chief minister Nitish Kumar launched Sabalpur Jivika Chudi Nirman Kendra via videoconference in November 2022, is part of a World Bank-funded Rural Livelihoods Programme. It is operated by Jivika. Bihar state planned in cooperation with Prohibited Excise Department.

Sharmila Devi, 28, a mother of four, earn bread for her family by crushing liquor bottle . She melts the crushed material in a furnace and uses the melted material to make glass bracelets.
At the end of the day, Sharmila will get a princely ₹220, in cash, for eight hours of work. She is content though. “It’s sufficient enough to get my children a decent dinner they have been waiting for a long,” she says with a smile.
Sharmila’s husband was an alcoholic and he often beat her. Although he claims to have stopped drinking, he earns nothing.

A furnace capable of melting two tons of crushed liquor bottles in a day was set up in scrubland in the center of the village and a team of 20 bangle craftsmen was brought to Sabalpur from Firozabad in Uttar Pradesh. And provided training to the women of Jivika.The unit has the capacity to produce 70,000-80,000 glass bracelets per day.

“Today is a historic day. This is the state’s first Chudi Nirman Kendra,” said Brajesh Kumar, his manager in the Jeevika area. “We started with almost two dozen Jeevika Didis. Most of them are from Sambalpur Panchayat. More will be added in the coming days,” he said.

Jeevika community coordinator Roshni Kumari said more than 100 of her Jeevika women have registered their names with the factory. Most of these women are experiencing severe financial hardship due to alcoholism plaguing their spouses, she said. Samir Kumar, Project Manager, of Jivika State, said: Men had to be hired because working in the blast furnace was not safe for women. ”

He said the excise department had already shipped more than 12 tons of crushed liquor bottles to the factory. Another Jeevika project manager, Avinash Kumar, said the finished bangle would be branded Kanchi. “We also identified markets. Many Jivika women do business in rural areas,” he said. Even in the state capitals, Chudiguri and Marouganj have several specialised bracelet dealers, he said.

What is the Economic Viability of the Move?

• Some are apprehensive about the economic viability of the government’s new “innovative” idea of making glass bangles out of seized liquor bottles.

• It may sound like an innovative idea but in making glass bangles other materials are used like limestone and soda.

• There are several small and big established factories in places like Faizabad, Mumbai, and Hyderabad which constitute about 80% of glass bangle-making products.

• The seized illegal liquor bottles will not be enough to sustain a glass bangle-making factory’s economic viability.

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