U’khand: Here liquor addicts are lashed with stinging plant

Published on Feb 24, 2016 12:29 PM IST
Shame them and treat them with a ‘stinging plant’ if they ever touch alcohol again, is an Uttarakhand village’s recent way to save families from multiple fall outs of liquor addiction.
The committee was formed last month by family members who had witnessed how liquor addiction destroyed their peace of mind.(HT photo)
The committee was formed last month by family members who had witnessed how liquor addiction destroyed their peace of mind.(HT photo)
Hindustan Times | By, Dehradun

Shame them and treat them with a ‘stinging plant’ if they ever touch alcohol again, is an Uttarakhand village’s recent way to save families from multiple fall outs of liquor addiction.

It may look like a Khap-pish approach but the 10-member anti-alcohol committee of Kanwa village in Uttarakashi, about 180 kilometres from Dehradun, feels this is the only way to save families of a liquor-addicted earning member from financial ruins—and it’s working, committee members said.

The committee was formed last month by family members who had witnessed how liquor addiction destroyed their peace of mind, household unity and financial stability.

But what’s ‘stinging plant’ punishment? Puran Singh Rana, head of the anti-alcoholism committee, said the particular plant is locally called kandaali (Utrica dioica), which has bristles that leave a tingling inflammation and pain when somebody is lashed with it. Rana said after striking an addict with this plant, he is locked up in a cowshed without food for a full day. “If that does not work, we carry out complete social boycott of the person till he mends his way,” Rana said.

So far, around seven persons have been given the stinging stick and shame in public while a dozen others have been handed out warnings, Rana said, who works as a para-teacher (appointed on a contract basis) in nearby Badethi village. “School children have also been urged to report cases of alcoholism in their families,” he said. At least three of the persons have not touched liquor over the last three weeks, committee members said.

Committee general secretary and village health worker Sumitra Rana said that many alcoholics thrashed their wives when they’re drunk. “Through the campaign, we want to make our village alcohol-free. We also want our women to speak out against their husbands who squander all the family income in drinking and beat them up after consuming alcohol,” she said.

Prakash Singh (name changed), a local contractor and ‘sting victim’ said that he hadn’t touched the liquor ever since he was caught by the committee lying drunk in a nearby agricultural field. “I’m trying to quit it for good,” he said.

Alcoholism is a social problem in Uttarakhand, which has over the years witnessed many anti-liquor movements led by womenfolk. Many villages across the state have been coming out strongly against the social malaise off late.

For instance, Naicholi village in Tehri district hosted its first liquor-free wedding earlier this month. At Lasyal, another village in district Tehri, alcohol has not been served in any wedding since the past 2009.

“We hope that the growing awareness envelops the entire state with liquor becoming a thing of the past in Uttarakhand,” said social activist Bhushan Negi.

Nevertheless, liquor is a major revenue source for state. In the current financial year, government has set 1400 crore target for the trade.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Neha Pant is a senior correspondent at Hindustan Times based in Dehradun, Uttarakhand. She writes on a range of topics including civic issues, urban development, politics, health, women and youth issues, culture and lifestyle.

Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • The chief minister also honoured freedom fighter Shiv Narayan Gupta and families of martyrs, including the kin of Param Vir Chakra winner Captain Manoj Pandey. (Pic for representation)

    We must not let our differences weaken nation: Yogi

    Lucknow: Paying rich tributes to the heroes of the Kakori train action on Tuesday, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath said that India attained independence in 1947 after years of struggle and innumerable sacrifices. “Today, as we celebrate 'Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav', we must not let our differences divide us and weaken the country, rather we should collectively contribute towards a prosperous India,” he said.

  • India has more than 1.5 lakh brick kilns which include over 21,000 from Uttar Pradesh. (Pic for representation)

    Brick kiln owners seek roll back of GST, coal price hike; threaten to close units

    MEERUT About 1.5 lakh brick manufacturers from all over the country, including 21,000 from Uttar Pradesh, have threatened to close their kilns from the coming season if enhanced GST and hike in coal prices are not withdrawn. General secretary, Shamli Brick Nirman Samiti, Sunil Goel said that the GST on bricks had been increased to 18 per cent from 5 per cent and the coal earlier purchased at Rs 6,000 to 7,000 per tonne now cost Rs 25,000 per tonne.

  • RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav addresses a joint press conference after meeting the Bihar governor in Patna on Tuesday. 

    Nitish Kumar's new ally Tejashwi Yadav fires salvo: ‘Across Hindi heartland…’

    RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav on Tuesday said, with the split of the NDA in Bihar, the BJP does not have any alliance partner across the Hindi heartland. Yadav added, “Nobody can take the legacy of our ancestors...We thank Nitish Kumar as well as Laluji...All of us wanted BJP's agenda shouldn't be implemented in Bihar, we all know Laluji stopped 'Rath' of Advaniji, we won't relent at any cost."

  • Shrikant Tyagi at the Noida Police Commissionerate. (ANI)

    Tyagi used car sticker from ‘old colleague’ Swami Prasad Maurya, probe on: Cops

    Absconding politician Shrikant Tyagi, on the run for four days, was brought to the Noida Police Commissionerate on Tuesday hours after Tyagi was arrested from Meerut. Noida police commissioner Alok Singh said Tyagi has an 'MLA' sticker on one of his vehicles he said was given to him by his “old political colleague” Swami Prasad Maurya. Singh said a total of 12 teams were constituted to nab the accused.

  • Picture for representation. This is not the Shivananda circle steel bridge. 

    Bengaluru gets a new steel bridge: 5 things to know about it

    The much-awaited Shivananda circle steel bridge is likely to be opened this Independence Day. This steel bridge is expected to decongest the traffic at Shivananda circle signal which is usually packed with the commuters of Malleshwaram, Majestic and Chalukya circle. Here are five things to know about the steel bride: The steel bridge is reportedly 493-metre-long and it is supported by 16 pillars throughout the road.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Tuesday, August 09, 2022
Start 15 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now