Members of the National Alliance of Women (NAWO), an umbrella organisation of different women's groups, are demanding amendments to the state liquor policy, which they feel is resulting in widespread social disruption and attendant problems within comunities statewide.
They want licensed liquor shops to be removed from panchayats and that women mukhiyas and sarpanch be authorized to issue no-objection certificates for opening of liquor shops in their areas.
The NAWO women have decided to submit a charter of demands to chief minister Nitish Kumar on November 26 and take out a protest march from Gandhi Maidan to Hartali Mor in the state capital to press their demands.
At a session to decide NAWO's plan of action here recently, Padmashree Sudha Verghese of Nari Gunjan said, "There have been projects for women empowerment. But it cannot be achieved if these licensed liquor shops continue to mushroom. Liqour has disrupted countless families, especially in rural areas."
She said , "The worst affected are women and children. Incidents of domestic violence have increased in the last couple of years. The government should bring changes in its liquor policy and explore alternatives to generate revenue for development works," she said.
Neelu and Archana of Mahila Jaagran Kendra, said government policies for women welfare appear to be contradictory. "Though 50% of seats in panchayats are reserved for them, they are also exposed to physical assault by men under the influence of liqour," she said.
Members say, as on today, each panchayat allowed to have two licensed liquor shops. Besides, the number of illegal liquor shops have sprouted close to schools, libraries and temples. All such issues will be discussed at the rally on November 26, she said.
A report on the survey of socio- economic impact of liqour on families in villages of 13 districts of the state has already been released by the organisation, said Sunita and Shazeena.