A group of 13 women in Chhattisgarh has launched a drive to spread awareness against alcohol consumption in the state’s Bastar region. Known as Blue Gang, the group is keeping tabs on the drinking problem in the area. Often, women have complained of domestic violence meted out to them by their drunk husbands in the region. Thus, the awareness stint aims to sensitise people about the ill effects of alcohol consumption and control such cases of violence as well.
A special focus of the group is on bus, auto and rickshaw drivers. Additionally, the group is also conducting counselling sessions for alcohol addicts, helping them to adopt healthier means of life. The women patrol the Shanti Nagar area from eight in the evening to twelve at night. They intervene whenever they witness a fight, or see any hotel open beyond the specified time.
Regular visits and checks
The women are engaged in regularly visiting and checking different areas where the problems from alcoholism may arise. These include dark conrners of the roads, bus stands, hotels etc.
Talking to ANI, one of the women of the Blue Gang said, “We face problem at our own home when our husbands drink alcohol and create a ruckus at home, that’s when we decided to tackle the issue. We want the others to change along with our husbands.”
One of the police officers also applauded the group’s efforts in the region. He told ANI, “These women are doing a great job. They are visiting all the susceptible areas and intervening whenever there is a problem. The police are also helping them in this initiative.”
Alcoholism has recently emerged as a serious problem in the region. It has resulted in road accidents, fights and brawls, domestic violence and several fatalities. Thus, the initiative is greatly helping locals in understanding the impact of heavy drinking both on their lives and on society.
In India, there have been several cases in the past of women taking leadership positions in fighting social evils and spreading awareness.
Recently, a group of women activists launched a nationwide campaign called ‘Baatein Aman Ki’. It aims to sensitise people about violence that takes place against women “in the name of religious and nationalist sentiments”. Activists and volunteers will travel to different parts of the country as part of their sensitisation drive. They are also planning to hold public meetings and discussions on issues related to women. The campaign also aims to work in tandem with local organisations. Women groups in different cities, towns, villages will be invited to form local coordination committees.
In Vadodara, several women formed a human chain to set a new world record. Over 2,400 women came together in support of fighting breast cancer, by forming a huge human chain during the ongoing cricket match between the India and Australia women’s teams. The idea was to spread awareness about breast cancer.
In February this year, more than 80 women and girls from the Kargil slum of Bhubaneswar joined in a human chain to stop violence against women. They raised slogans to focus on the need of safety, security and peace.
Nimisha Is An Intern With SheThePeople.TV