Report by Akshya Rout, Jajpur: At least 200 women took to the national high way 200 at Chadeidhara under Dharmasala block in Jajpur district on Wednesday to demand before the authority to close down a foreign liquor shop in the village Chadeidhara .
The spontaneous movement, which took place in the village, was aimed at preventing men and children from getting addicted to alcohol, which, women said, led to a large chunk of their earnings going waste. They blocked the road at for three hours as a result road traffic was affected.
Even bystanders and men watching the women's actions joined in, impressed with the intensity of the protest by women of all age groups, said Prakash Pradhan who works for women's causes.
It is definitely a positive movement against liquor addiction, which has eaten into the family resources of poor villagers , most working in their fields. , said Sabitri parida the president of the anti-liquor movement.
Earlier, we demanded before the collector not to open any liquor shop in the village. But the authority last year opened a liquor shop near the school , said Parida. A new movement of awakening has begun and members of various action groups, including young women and girls, are now organising protests against increasing liquor addiction in the rural areas , said social activist Nabaghan Swain .
Women agitators also locked the liquor shop Many youths are already hard core addicts and wasting substantial part of their earnings on liquor, resulting in the suffering and deprivation of the whole family for which villagers including women and children decided to oppose the opening of liquor shop in the village, said Sarada Parida a woman activist.
We had earlier submitted memorandums to the district collector, district superintendent of police and the excise officials not to open liquor shop in village . But the authorities did not pay any heed to their pleas for which many women and other villagers forcefully locked the liquor shop, said Pravati Das .
Large numbers of villagers including many students supported the move of the women to oppose the opening of liquor shop . Women activists including many members of Self Help Group (SHG) also criticized the decision of the government to open more liquor shops in the district. The government s decision to open more liquor shops will ruin many families. We recently chalked out plans to forcefully close many liquor shops in the rural areas, said Nalini Das . As per the Excise Act , the government should not open liquor shops near the educational institutions, hospitals and religious places .
But , in many places, the authority granted licenses to liquor businessmen to open liquor shops near these places. It is high time for the authority to close all the liquor shops in these places, said Usharani Das a women leader .
Unchecked flow of liquors and narcotics have started wrecking havoc with the people of rural and urban areas of the district and following this anti-social activities has gone up in rural areas . Drunkards and drug-addicts have been harassing common people in nights and create nuisance. Police in many areas seems to have turned a blind eye to this illicit trade as many places liquor is sold not far off from the police station, added Das.