In an age when alcohol and drug addictions are on the rise and school dropout rates go unchecked, a village in the Naxal-infested Bastar region of Chhattisgarh has formed its own set of rules to tackle these problems. The villagers here have a mission: to covert their village into an ideal village.
Tikralohanga village penalizes the entire family if any member is found consuming liquor or taking drugs. The village has also ruled that it is the family’s responsibility to ensure their child must attend schools regularly, which has yielded encouraging results. Now, every child in the village is enrolled and promptly goes to school. If any child skips school the family is held guilty and has to pay the fine.
Sarpanch of Tikralohandga Gram Panchayat Phoolo Kashyap said that the rules are strictly followed in the village that has around 250 households. The punitive fine is 10 bowls of paddy to be deposited with the gram panchayat every time the family is held ‘guilty’, she said.
Three Self Help Groups (SHGs) are also assisting the villagers in the exercise. The gram panchayat members proudly affirmed that their village has now ushered upon the path of development and peace. “No one drinks in any community programme or social event in the village and every child attends school”, said a former sarpanch Om Singh Kashyap. The panchayat has also imposed a ban on purchase and sale of mahua – a flower used to brew country-made liquor.
Director (Panchayat & Social Welfare) P P Soti told Hindustan Times that such initiative that benefits the entire society is highly appreciative.