Sahariyas campaign against abuse of liquor, drugs by community members

Realising that liquor and drug abuse was hurting the already impoverished Sahariya tribal population further, some people of the community have taken the onus of creating awareness against the social evil on themselves

jaipur Updated: Jan 04, 2018 20:38 IST
Aabshar H Quazi
Aabshar H Quazi
Hindustan Times
Sahariyas,liquor and drug abuse,Bhanwargarh
Sahariya tribals meet against liquor abuse in Baran district.(HT Photo)

Realising that liquor and drug abuse was hurting the already impoverished Sahariya tribal population further, some people of the community have taken the onus of creating awareness against the social evil on themselves.

The group of Saharia people recently organised a meeting in Bhanwargarh region of Baran district, around 350 km from Jaipur, where they tried to impress upon the community tribals to denounce liquor abuse.

“Liquor abuse has ruined families of tribals, as the community men waste earned money on liquor abuse, while the women and kids suffer due to money crunch,” said Gyarsi Bai Sahariya (50), a social activist associated with Sahariya Jagrit Mahila Sangathan, an NGO, which organised the meeting.

Gyarsi Bai said that the community members of around 84 villages of Sahariya inhabited blocks of Kishanganj and Shahabad have taken a lead in mobilising the community against the misuse of liquor or marijuana by organising regular awareness meetings in the Sahariya dominated Kasbathana, Shahabad and Kishanganj tehsils of Baran district for the last three-four months.

Dayalu Ram Sahariya (40), a school teacher in Kasbathana, said that a committee, comprising local Sahariyas as its members, is being formed in every Sahariya inhabited area of the district. “A fine of ₹1,100 to ₹5,100 is being imposed on the community people involved in liquor or drug abuse, which differs from locality to locality,” he said. “So far, ₹8,400 fine has been recovered in Kasbathana from four defaulters, while ₹11,000 has been recovered from a person in Sanwada panchayat in the region,” he said.

“Those violating the norms on liquor and marijuana and involved in gambling will be ostracised from the community and not be allowed to enter Sahariya basti,” he said. “The frequent violators will be garlanded with shoes and bashed,” he added.

The ward panch of Kasbathana, Kamlesh Sahariya said that an award of ₹200 to ₹500 is being given to the people tipping off about the violators. “Committees have also deputed some of its members near wine shops to keep an eye on the liquor abusers among the community,” he added.

Dayalu Ram said that the amount collected through fines is deposited in a bank account. “The amount is being used for the community welfare including education of tribal kids, weddings of the poor tribal girls and treatment of needy tribals,” he said.

Maniram Sahariya (26), an office-bearer of the Sahariya committee, said, “Monthly meeting of the committee would be organised to discuss about the collected fine and its utilisation.” He said they were inspired by a tribal community in neighbouring Madhya Pradesh.

Firoz Khan, another social activist, said that other backward communities including Bheels and Jatavs have also started organising such meetings to check liquor abuse by the community members.

First Published: Jan 04, 2018 20:38 IST