Rajasthan: Women in village Close Liquor Vend by a Referendum
Women of Kachhbali Gram Panchayat in Rajasthan have proved that monumental changes in the society can be brought about without making much noise. These women successfully shut down a liquor vend through a referendum.
In 2016 these women kicked off the campaign to shut down the only liquor vend of that area. According to them, the shop was destroying their family lives. Besides this, drunken men were seen harassing girls which restricted their movement.
1,937 people out of 2,886 voted in the favour of closure of the shop. The district administration, going by The Rajasthan Excise (Closure of Country Liquor Shop by Local Option) Rules, 1975, issued an order in favour of women’s demands.
500 other village bodies across the state are following the women’s footsteps and conducting plebiscites against the sale of alcohol. The referendum route to close liquor vends has emerged as a popular trend these days.
Success of the Referendum
Even though the men have not given up on drinking but now, they are now forced to travel longer distances to procure alcohol. Instances of wife-beating and drunken brawls have also reduced.
While women in Rajasthan are fortunate to have availed this provision, states like Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh do not have a legal provision to force the government to close liquor vends.
Other Successful Instances of Closure of Liquor-vends
A lot of women, in the recent past, have been successful in closing liquor shops. In April this year, some women reportedly entered a liquor shop at Om Nagar in Gurgaon, broke some bottles and locked the shop. They felt that presence of such a shop in the vicinity would negatively affect school children passing by.
The ways women in these cases adapted might be different, but the cause they were fighting for is the same. It is because of such tenacious women, that we can foresee ripples of change sweeping the country.