JAIPUR: Barar and Hamela Ki Vair village panchayats in Rajasthan’s Rajsamand district became liquor-free on Saturday after residents voted in support of shutting down all liquor shops. Over 64 per cent people of both the village panchayats voted in favour of prohibition. Out of 5,632 voters, only voted against prohibition.
The move came after an anti-liquor campaign by the women. The villages bore a festive look on Saturday, November 13, 2021, as people, particularly women, participated with full enthusiasm with officials of Rajsamand district administration supervising the polling.
The special vote was carried out under the Rajasthan Excise Rules, which empowers a panchayat to opt for closing a liquor shop if 51 per cent of its residents vote for it. The villagers celebrated by dancing outside the polling booth after the result was declared. Pankaja Singh, Sarpanch of Barar, said, “We are happy that the wait has finally ended. People in Barar were inspiring each other to vote for the liquor ban and our work for the past several months has borne fruit with people’s support.”
Alcoholism has been a rampant problem in this region and which prompted the campaign for prohibition. So far, four village panchayats of Rajsamand have become liquor-free. At first, there was a ban on liquor in Kachbali in 2016 after 94 per cent people voted for prohibition. In April this year, Thaneta panchayat of the district voted for the move with 60 per cent of the villagers supporting it.
Ramesh Kumar, Sarpanch of Hamela ki Vair, remarked, “Women used to complain that their husbands wasted their earnings on liquor. Often, the men beat their wives or met with accidents after getting drunk. Now I hope people’s lives will improve.”