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It's costly to say 'cheers' here!

Villagers of Rari in Rajasthan will now have to pay a hefty amount as penalty if they choose to drink or sell liquor in any part of their village.

india Updated: Dec 08, 2006 19:39 IST

The villagers of Rari in Rajasthan's Ajmer District, have imposed a self-ban tocontain rapidly growing liquor addiction.

Rari, which is located about 140 kilometres away from Jaipur and has a population of around 2,000, used to witness many brawls among drunken villagers.

Many a times youngsters would be found in an inebriated condition during the daytime.

Perturbed with the nuisance, the village council arrived at a consensus to weed outdrinking from the village. The inmates instantly agreed to volunteer to stop drinking.

If anyone is found selling or consuming liquor in any part of the village he is liable to pay a heavy penalty. If found drunk, one has to cough up rupees 500 to 1,000 but if found guilty of selling liquor, the penalty could be a whopping Rs.5,000.

As a result, there is not a single shop in the village, which can dare to sell liquor.

"The ban was imposed because people in an inebriated condition would engage in a brawl. They started drinking more and even took drinks during the daytime. I have closed the liquor shop. It does not matter even if I have loss because it is in the interest of the village," said Ram Singh, a former liquor vendor.

But, even then, if someone doesn't stop drinking, he faces a social boycott.

The only leniency is shown to that the individual who gets drunk while being outside the village. But as per ban provision, if any such has to enter the village in an inebriated state, he must go to his house quietly and is not allowed to speak to anyone on the way.

The village youth say that earlier families were unhappy. Social, financial and unemployment problems cropped up, which disrupted their lives. But now all are happy.

"After the ban, there is no fight. Earlier, men would get drunk and start fighting. Their families were unhappy and left starving. Moreover, they would demand money for drinks. Unemployment also increased and therefore this system was evolved," said Pawan, a youth.

Women of the village are also happy since most of their household problems got solved following the ban.

"They (men) never used to do any work. The women had to go to other villages for work and look after the family. Men are respected more and it is good for the family and children," said Sitadevi, housewife.

Interestingly, the village youth, who were earlier ignored by neighbourhood villagers for matrimonial alliance, have started getting proposals due to teetotaller habits!

First Published: Dec 01, 2006 18:16 IST