96-year-old Threatens Suicide If Liquor Not Banned in Agra Before Gandhi's Birthday

Chimman Lal Jain, a 96-year-old freedom fighter, on Sunday threatened to end his life by jumping into the Yamuna river.

Published: 17th August 2015 08:47 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th August 2015 11:42 AM   |  A+A-

By IANS

AGRA: Chimman Lal Jain, a 96-year-old freedom fighter, on Sunday threatened to end his life by jumping into the Yamuna river, if liquor sale was not banned in Agra by October 2, Mahatma Gandhi's birthday.

Leading a group of protestors -- comprising women and children from the Dalit areas of Agra, Jain also threatened to torch shops selling liquor, which he said had destroyed numerous families.

The protestors carried placards with slogans like "Desh Bachao, Sharab Hatao, Bahu Beti Bachao, Sharab bikri band karo" (Save nation, stop liquor sale).

Jain said that when India became independent 68 years ago, there were only 11 liquor vends in Agra. "But today their number exceeds 1,100. So many families have been ruined, women and children left to fend for themselves."

"Women and children are the worst sufferers because all the income goes into liquor and little is left for the family's needs," Jain said.

According to Abhinay Prasad, director of NGO Adhar, over 2.5 lakh people, mostly Dalits, were engaged in shoe-making business in Agra, and studies suggest that the incidence of liquor addiction was alarmingly high amomg this section.

The daily wage of a shoe industry worker comes to around Rs.500. This is supplemented by income from the work their women do at home on contract basis for the shoe factories, stitching uppers.

Naresh Paras, a social activist working with the underprivileged sections of society, said: "The sad reality is that despite the income, the lifestyle has not improved, nor the nutritional intake. Many people begin the day with liquor. Liquor vends are open round-the-clock...."

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp