Muraki Devi, 55, has a rock protruding out of a hill for a ceiling. Her home windows are holes in the vintage, worn-out bedsheet that she hangs on the edges of wherein she sleeps and spends her days. Muraki, who slightly made a residing by producing unlawful USA liquor, has become one of the most favorite grocery sellers in her village. And, she says, she owes it to the Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar.

Just 18 months in the past, she spent her days in a nearby hut at Bisunpur village that operates as a makeshift ‘factory’ where she and several different women produced mahua (u . S . A . Liquor). In South Bihar’s Gaya district, this village is ordinarily occupied through Musahars, categorized as Mahadalits, who fall right at the bottom of the caste hierarchy.

Muraki has no own family. Her dad and mom passed away two years after she was given married. Fifteen years in the past, her husband, who she says changed into most cases under the influence of alcohol, abandoned her and left for the metropolis. She has no children. Extreme poverty and caste discrimination pressured her to stay underneath a rock.

Liquor-making Business

Now, a stroll thru the village narrates two distinguished realities: the jubilant popularity of Munaki Devi and the despondent poverty in the region. Most girls in the village visit her to keep for their daily needs because they experience, “she can by no means cheat. She will constantly provide genuine merchandise due to the fact she has been via plenty in her non-public existence.” Like hundreds of Bihar’s poorest and discriminated girls, Munaki is the beneficiary of a statewide program called Jeevika, co-financed via the World Bank, the country government, and the countrywide government, the National Rural Livelihood Mission.

This election season, Munaki has already made up her thoughts. She isn’t perturbed because this is a Lok Sabha election and that Nitish Kumar has allied with the BJP as a part of the NDA. “Whenever there may be elections, I will constantly vote for Nitish Kumar. Whoever his candidate could be from the constituency, I will vote for him/her,” she announces with entire conviction. Muraki is about 85 lakh rural ladies who’re part of self-help companies that set aside Rs 10 each week and feature collectively stored near Rs 420 crore. They have also availed loans in extra of Rs, 3,500 crores to install small companies ever because scheme became released in 2007.

Muraki’s monthly income varies from Rs 6,000 to Rs 7,000, an quantity, she explains, “become impossible within the current beyond.” Sanjeev Kumar, location coordinator for Jeevika in Gaya, explains that “girls are shortlisted on the basis in their monetary and social conditions. Then they may be asked to keep Rs 10 each week, prepare an enterprise and a finances plan”. He similarly elaborated that this changed into achieved to instill the habit of saving in women. Once Jeevika’s nearby team is happy with the plan, they disburse the loans and install those women’s entrepreneurial goals.

Maki also goes around the village encouraging ladies to work. She promises to provide discounts to hired ladies. “So that we are not dependent on all of us, we ought to paintings. Had I been operating earlier than, I wouldn’t have to live the manner I did after my husband left me,” she says, depression and wish reflecting with equal pressure in her words. Bihar’s girl labor participation charge is the worst within us of a. According to the Census Report of 2011, just 19.1 percent of ladies participate in the personnel compared to a countrywide common of 25.Five percent.

Roughly 90 kilometers away, for 34-yr-vintage Tulsi Devi, the conflict’s journey started after marriage. Her husband, a day-by-the-day-wage laborer, makes Rs one hundred to Rs a hundred and fifty on exact days. On other days, the family of 5 grapples for meals. “My kids should get the most effective pass to high school after Jeevika helped me installation my keep,” she says. Her monthly earnings from the shop approximately Rs 4,000 now. Tulsi Devi has sons and one daughter, all underneath the age of 10.

The eldest daughter, nine, recollects her days before college and says, “Other kids inside the village used to have books and college bags which I wanted to own. Since a closing year, I am additionally going to high school. My mother and father have instructed me that it become feasible handiest due to Nitish Ji.”

Kumar’s 14-yr tenure is a clear indication that the Bihar leader minister is starting to yield the benefits of the many measures he has taken to nurture his lady components, cutting across the caste and community lines. To woo this silent constituency, he has introduced a bouquet of schemes: Cycles for ladies to move to school; improved illustration for women in panchayats and municipal elections, from 33 consistent with cent to 50 according to cent; a promise to reserve 35 in line with cent of all state authorities jobs for ladies, similarly to the 35 consistent with cent reserved for them in the police.

This may be in part attributed to the truth that greater women in Bihar pop out to vote than guys. During the Lok Sabha elections in 2014, girls in 26 out of 42 constituencies accounted for the bigger proportion in voter turnout percentage. Devesh Kumar, BJP’s nation vice-president, said Narendra Modi and Nitish Kumar are regarded to promote ladies’ interests. “BJP has schemes along with Ujjwala on the valuable degree, and the JDU government has continually been ladies-centric in its governance,” he says. For Mungiya Devi, 38, Kumar has supplied a safe house to stay in, apart from helping her husband end alcohol and taking care of her intellectually disabled son.