Lok Satta

Wednesday, 04 February 2009 09:37

Liquor Control Movement

Article Index
Liquor Control Movement
The Ball now is in People's Court: Dr. JP
Shedding blood to protest Liquor shop auctions
Letter to Governor
Letter to Excise Commissioner
The Ball now is in People's Court: Dr. JP
Novel protests against Liquor shop auctions
Panachayats banning liquor to Get Rs.1 lakh award
Demonstrations and sit-ins at Excise Department Golden age or era of stupor?
Women win battle against liquor shop
Lok Satta makes history by Effecting citizen arrest
Bottles broken in battle against belt shops
Lok satta volunteers to arrest belt shop owners
DR. J.P. condemns moves to promote liquor sales
Mahila Satta to rope in SHGs: Anti-Liquor Drive
Mahila Satta identifies belt shops and seeks their closure
Prakasam Women force belt shop's closure
All Pages

(Hyderabad, 24/11/2007)
Women win battle against liquor shop


Led by a 63-year-old illiterate, the Dalit women of Pedagottipadu village in Prattipadu mandal of Guntur district have almost won their three-month-old battle against the liquor shop in the village with the State Excise Commissioner promising to get it shut down within a week.

Mrs. Jonnalagadda Jayabhagyam, a woman deserted by her husband 37 years ago, led the movement against liquor when her two grown up children too had hit the bottle and started squandering their hard-won earnings. She had no problem in mobilizing the village women, all of whom had been going through living hell. "We have no money to perform the weddings of our daughters, educate our children or at least feed our families. We could not even repay the loans taken from self-help groups because our men folk spent our and their earnings on liquor", recalled Mrs. Jayabhagyam at a media meet here today.

Some 800 odd women of the village submitted signed memoranda seeking liquor shop closure to the Sarpanch, Mandal Revenue Officer, Collector, Excise and police officials.

When their request fell on deaf ears, they launched hunger-strike for four days from October 2. With no response, they went on a 3-day 63-km 'pada yatra' under the leadership of Dr Jayaprakash Narayan, Lok Satta Party's National Coordinator, last month to the collectorate at Guntur. The Collector Md. Ali Raffath recommended the closure of the shop located amidst a school, a place of worship and the village bus stand.

As no action had been taken till today, a delegation of 15 women from the village called on Chief Minister Dr. Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy in Hyderabad today. They told the Chief Minister: "We don't need houses or pensions or loans if you simply shut the liquor shop and liberate us from domestic violence, financial and physical ruin of our families".

The Chief Minister, who gave a patient hearing, explained his difficulty in closing a licensed shop in the middle of the Excise year.

Dr. JP then took up the matter with the Excise Commissioner Hiralal Moria and explained how the shop was licensed in violation of all Excise rules. Mr. Hiralal Samaria assured Dr. JP that the shop would be closed in a week.

Disclosing this at the media meet, Dr. JP said he was sure that the Excise Department would keep its word. "If the Government does not respond to non-violent, democratic and constitutional movements, it would be sending a wrong signal that violence alone pays", Dr. JP added. Dr. JP complimented officials for responding positively to people's wishes.

The Lok Satta would not rest until it won the war against liquor which had already ruined 70 lakh families in the State, he added.

Dr. JP said that long before liquor shops are licensed in the coming excise year beginning July 1, people's wishes and panchayat clearance should be obtained. The Government should straightway desist from licensing shops in habitations populated predominantly by weaker sections and BPL families. DR. JP said that the Lok Satta would organize a secret ballot to ascertain public opinion, if the Government had any problem.

Mrs. Padma Rani, Convener, Guntur district Mahila Satta and Mr. Ilango, former President of Kuthambakkam panchayat near Chennai who is transforming villages, spoke.