Cracking the whip on candidates trying to woo voters by distributing drugs or liquor ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, two city-based NGOs have formed a 'Belan Brigade' to oppose such candidates and their supporters with 'belans' (rolling pins).
The two NGOs - Mahatar Sathi Jagriti Manch and Navkiran Women Welfare Association - will start a campaign on International Women's Day on March 8 and educate residents through door-to-door visits in villages as well as in city to not cast their precious votes to candidates offering drugs, liquor or money ahead of the elections.
Anita Sharma, president of Navkiran Women Welfare Association, said thousands of litres of alcohol was distributed, besides several country-made and branded liquor bottles were seized during the last Vidhan Sabha elections in the state. Besides, poppy husk, opium, heroin and other drugs were also distributed, she claimed.
"Therefore, we have decided to educate residents so that no candidate could dare distribute drugs or liquor. If we get any information about their distribution, our team will oppose such candidates and their supporters with 'belans'. Residents should also support us in this drive," she added.
Keemti Rawal of Mahatar Sathi Jagriti Manch, said, "Drug menace is widespread in Punjab and the youth is increasingly falling prey to it. Therefore, we aim to spread awareness against candidates who buy votes during the elections by providing drugs."
The NGOs have formed an 11-member committee for the district that would carry out the drive with the support of residents and hopes to expose those distributing drugs and liquor.
Tarsem Jodhan, Communist Party of India (M) leader and former MLA, would lead the team in Ludhiana.
He said, "We need support of every resident to end the drug menace and save more lives from being ruined."