Social activist and Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) leader Medha Patkar urged the Rajasthan government on Saturday to ban liquor, and called for a stringent law in the country to ensure de-addiction.
She reached Bharatpur from Alwar and met members of the Gulabi team who have been protesting against liquor shops for the past several months. Inspired by Uttar Pradesh’s Gulaab Gang, the Gulabi team was formed and so named because of the pink sarees and matching slippers its members wear.
Patkar’s visit is part of her national campaign for a drug-free India that was launched on January 23 at Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad. The campaign – to be carried out in Gujarat, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh -- will end at Rajghat in Delhi on January 30.
Encouraging the Gulabi team members, Patkar said, “This team has contributed immensely in spreading liquor prohibition movement throughout Rajasthan and due to this, people identify them all over country.” Gulabi team leader Prem Lata Sulania thanked Patkar for her support.
The Gulabi team members sat on dharna for three months to protest against opening of liquor shops in their localities. Women from various localities joined their protest.
“Until women, who are the main suffers, rise against this menace, it is impossible to prohibit liquor. Netas only talk and make false promises,” Patkar said.
“Youths in the country are taking to drugs and alcohol. Addiction is on the rise and violence and torture are also increasing in society due to addiction. Chief minister of Rajasthan Vasundhara Raje should consider initiating a ban on alcohol. All state governments should follow the Bihar government which banned alcohol,” Patkar said addressing a gathering in Bharatpur.
Criticising the Centre over demonetisation, she said the move had failed to control black money. “The poor, farmers, labourers, and the common man are still facing cash crunch.”
She said, “Demonetisation has helped industrialists and the government should disclose feedback before people about seized black money.”