Rampant alcoholism and it’s negative effects on families has forced the women of UP to take a very public stand against alcohol consumption. Last week, a group of rural women at the village Manjhi in district Gonda of came up with a campaign that emerged from within the community.
In response to multiple alcohol deaths due to over-consumption, Gyanwati, Rajwanti, Sheila Devi, Neelam along with many other women and youth from the village took to lathis and started this movement, after being sensitized by their educated young daughters . Their solution to curb alcohol consumption is simple, if men are drunk, deny them food. One of the movement participants said to Hindustan:
No matter if the person is from our house or the neighbours, we wouldn’t let him eat if he is found in an inebriated state.
The women have taken the matter into their own hands, but the state is still no-committal on the issue. UP Chief minister Akhilesh Yadav may be facing pressure to ban alcohol after the neighbouring state of Bihar took that step, but he made his stand clear to local news channel Samachar Plus:
A decision cannot be made on this all of a sudden. Millions of people are affected by this. Alcohol is made from sugarcane which fetches them a good price. A ban would adversely affect business. We have to find another way t0 curb the problem, and I would like to urge the people to put a control on their consumption of alcohol. We need to spread more awareness on the issue
How many of the state’s population actually take is advice seriously is anyone’s guess. In the meanwhile, it remains to be seen how successful the efforts of the women will be in discouraging the menfolk from alcohol abuse.
Feature Image Credit: fao.org