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    Published On : Wed, Dec 9th, 2015
    Latest News | By Nagpur Today Nagpur News

    Swamini Zila Darubandi Abhiyan stages protest at Vidhan Bhavan

    Nagpur: Thousands of women from Yavatmal District marched to the Vidhan Sabha in Nagpur today, 9th of Dec 2015, to express their anger at the Government’s lack of concern and failure to take cognizance of the widespread demand for Alcohol Prohibition across Yavatmal District, despite many Andolans which have occurred over the last 9 months.

    The demand has been earlier expressed through several Andolans which tried to demonstrate the misery experienced by lakhs of families affected by addiction to alcohol. The state government’s uncaring attitude to this issue, motivated by its focus on excise revenue at any cost including even the lives and health of citizens, drives the anger and frustration of women taking part in this March.

    The March started on 4th of December from Kalam in Yavatmal District and is led by Mahesh Pawar of Swamini Zila Darubandi Abhiyan. Over the last 9 months, volunteers of Swamini have worked tirelessly, visiting villages in Yavatmal to see first hand the destruction of relationships, together with future aspirations of young children, and the directionlessness of youth caused by alcohol consumption. Swamini’s attempts till date to make the Chief Minister and administration understand the condition of alcohol addicts and the consequent misery of their family members do not appear to have made any difference. So several organizations and family members of addicts have also joined the March near Nagpur, attempting to make state ministers aware of this issue by marching to the Vidhan Sabha.

    Rising joblessness, problems of tribals, the disastrous state of farming, absence of industry and now this flood of alcohol have all uprooted far too many families. Violence and atrocities are increasing. Verbal and physical abuses within families rise day on day. These are the issues for which Swamini has organized 23 Andolans till date at the Village, Taluka and District levels. But the Government of the day has chosen not to take cognizance of them, let alone proactively reconfigure administrative policies to solve them.

    This has forced Swamini to take this next step of organizing a 125 km long Padyatra from Yavatmal to Nagpur during the winter Assembly session. Around 300 women started from Kalam on 4th of December, reaching Nagpur today on 9th December 2015.

    Other groups and supporting organizations from Yavatmal joined the March at Chinchbhuvan just on the outskirts of Nagpur last night,and today morning, and thousands of protesters marched to the State Assembly to press their demand.

    Dr. Abhay Bang of SEARCH in Gadhchiroli, whose efforts convinced the Government to prohibit alcohol in Gadhchiroli in 1992, and who is well known together with his wife Rani Bang for their foundational work on malnutrition among tribals of Gadhchiroli, announced his support to the Andolan, and addressed the March at around 2:30 pm on Wednesday.

    Swaraj Abhiyan leader Yogendra Yadav, who was scheduled to join this Padyatra organized by Swamini at Chinchbhuvan this morning was unfortunately unable to attend due to a family health emergency. Instead, he sent a recorded message which was played to the Andolankaris.

    List of Demands submitted to the Government

    In this winter session in the year 2015 of the Maharashtra State Legislative Assembly, “Swamini Zila Darubandi Abhiyan, Yavatmal” submited he following set of demands to the Chief Minister of Maharashtra.

    1. The State Government should notify Yavatmal as a completely dry and liquor free district.

    2. Violations of laws relating to illegal production and sale of liquor should be subject to immediate prosecution and exemplary punishment

    3. The governmnent should conduct public awareness programs in every village to inform people of the ill effects of alcohol through the Gram Panchayat, Zila Parishad, and other Government machinery.

    4. Women’s committees should be constituted in each village, empowered to take decisions on instances of illegal sale of liquor, and demands for making the village liquor free.

    5. A special police cell should be constituted to handle cases relating to illegal liquor.

    6. Cases against Darubandi Andolan Volunteers and leaders should be immediately withdrawn.

    7. Through the appointment of specialists, a de-addiction center should be set up at each Taluka, or alternately the existing primary helth centres should have a separate division for treatment of alcohol addicts.

    8. Mental health professionals and advisors should be appointed in each Taluka to setup de-addiction guidance centres.

    9. Immediate and exemplary action to be taken against illegal producers of alcohol.

    10. Immediate and exemplary action against anyone selling liquor illegally.

    11. Special police force to be set up along District boundaries to control smuggling of liquor.

    12. Regular meetings to be conducted with concerned ministers, guardian minister, revenue minister, officials of concerned departments, members of women’s committees, district officials, police commissioner, NGO representatives, and Darubandi Andolan Volunteers to discuss whether Prohibition is being properly implemented and issues and difficulties arising therein.

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