Women too on hadia ‘high’
Hadia, the traditional invigorating drink and the poor man’s potion for getting a high, is slowly acquiring a new dimension of a full-fledged commercial venture. Courtesy: tribal females. ‘Hadia Beer Bars’ are now providing livelihood to these women.
Hitherto sold on roadside pavements, Hadia has now gone chic. And with a speciality: It’s an all-female commercial enterprise, where the owners and the ‘bar tenders’ are all females, mostly tribals. And though the purpose is not so good the fact remains that tribal females engaged in this venture are earning more than their male counterparts.
A small cluster here at Karamtoli stands testimony to the growing financial clout of the tribal females. “The household affairs of more than 90 per cent of tribal families living here are being managed by the income of their female members,” Arun Kumar, a resident, points out.
And how? A staggering 350 of the 400 houses in the locality have small and big ‘Hadia Beer Bars’ – managed only by women. “Hadia can easily be prepared by mixing rice with water and Ranu (local dialect). It’s stored for three days in a pitcher, which ultimately releases a watery substance to be filtered out. The output is called Hadia,” reveals Kajal Toppo (name changed), owner of a big Hadia Beer Bar.
Like beer, Hadia too can be categorized in two groups — strong and lager. Strong is the original watery substance that is filtered out.
Fresh water is added to the leftover in the pitcher to prepare lager Hadia, sold at almost half the price of its stronger counterpart.
Prepared at Rs 3 per glass and sold out at Rs 10 per glass (strong), this business earns a handsome net income of 70 per cent. Toppo reveals after much persuasion: “My total monthly income is around Rs 12,000-15,000 in peak season (summer)”.