DEHRADUN: In a move against alcohol sale and consumption, women from a village in Tharali block of Chamoli district and Didihat division in Pithoragarh district have decided to ban liquor in their villages citing alarming increase in consumption among youth derailing their lives.
Suman Devi, president of Mahila Mangal Dal of Hunera village in Pithoragarh district said, "We have decided to impose Rs 1000 fine on anyone who consumes or serves alcohol and related substances during community celebrations in the village or consumes it individually too. Alcohol is an evil which destroys families and it should be eradicated from society completely."
Devi said that the women have decided to make their village free of this 'evil' as they have realized the threat it imposes on future of tehri children along with economic, physical, mental and physiological health of the family.
The decision was taken in a meeting in which all members of gram panchayat, Yuvak Mangal Dal and residents of the village were present.
Similarly, women from Chepado village in Chamoli district have passed a resolution adding that if anyone serves alcohol of any form in the village in weddings or any other functions, they will face social boycott and a fine of Rs 5,000 will be imposed on them.
The move is said to have come after women attended a de-addiction camp set up in their village last month which taught them ill effects of alcohol and the damages it inflicts in every sphere of life if abused incessantly.
Afterwards, the women formed a group named 'Mahila Mangal Dal Chepado' and passed the resolution of complete prohibition of alcoholic substances in the village.
The proposal mentions that if someone serves liquor then they will have to pay a fine of Rs 5,000 and if someone if found to be drinking liquor in the premises of the village then they too will be penalized for Rs 500.
The women also criticized state government's decision to slash prices of alcohol in the recently concluded budget session in Gairsain.
Asha Devi, a resident of Chepado village said, "The government should not encourage the consumption of alcohol but discourage it. On one hand, the state government encourages alcohol and on the other hand we call Mahatma Gandhi our father of the nation who termed it as a social evil."
Prohibition on alcohol has been a long time demand of women in Uttarakhand with anti-liquor protests often.
In February 1984 the inhabitants of village Basbhira in Chaukhutiya block, Almora district found a man with illicit liquor in his possession. They complained to the local officer, Kameshwar Prasady but he did not take any action. Then they caught the officer himself smuggling liquor and gheraoed him.
In 2017, activists from different parts of the state held a padayatra (foot march) from Nainital to Gairsain to press for separate department for promotion of anti-liquor activities.
In the year 2014, women in Dehradun protested against opening of an alcohol shop at Kanwali road.
In the year 2015, women in Someshwar protested against opening of a beer bar in the area and ran a signature campaign too.
Women in Gopeshwar area used to rub a stingy grass to people who lined up to buy alcohol to prevent them from alcohol abuse.