Monday, March 7, 2011

Anti-liquor dharna to mark women's day in Yavatmal

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Anti-liquor dharna to mark women's day in Yavatmal

YAVATMAL: Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti president Kishore Tiwari has announced that Kranti Dhote would lead thousands of women from across the district on a one-day dharna in front of the district collector's office on International Women's Day, March 8. "Our two demands are total prohibition in Yavatmal district and waiver of loan dues of Women Self Help Groups active in villages," Kranti Dhote said.

Kishore Tiwari said that he has written to the district collector to extend facilities such as pandal, drinking water, carpet and loud speaker at the dharna venue as they are supporting the collector's earlier recommendations to the Govt.

"This should be viewed as a government-sponsored agitation since Yavatmal is the suicide capital of the country, and the district administration has pointed out that liquor consumption is a major cause of farmers' suicides," Tiwari said.

Kranti Dhote criticised the multi national companies advertising branded liquor products through celebrities on the small screen, which influences the younger generation. She also criticised political bigwigs running liquor dens and manufacturing liquor from food grains in a country like India, where half the population is still starving and struggling for a square meal every day.

"We want a liquor-free society as it is a social evil and affects women and children in households," Kranti said, adding that the government should forget about revenue from the mushrooming country liquor dens and look for an alternative revenue source that does not harm families.

District collector Sanjay Deshmukh has said that over 1.5 crore litres of country liquor is consumed in Yavatmal district annually. As far as revenue generation is concerned, 50% cent of the total sales proceeds of liquor are collected by the government, he said.

"I personally feel that it is a dangerous social evil and women suffer the most due to it," he said and added that it should be prohibited throughout the country. Deshmukh has also confirmed his earlier report to the state government, saying that the root cause of all farmers' suicide is liquor addiction and recommended total prohibition in the district.

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