Pune women spearhead the anti-liquor movement

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Pune, Nov 18 (ANI): The polling phase doesn't seem to die away from the Pait and Parunde villages here. The villagers will cast their votes on November 22 to choose whether liquor shops should be banned in the area.

The residents of Pait village in Khed taluka and Parunde in Junnar taluka have put forward a memorandum to the District Collector and the Excise Department asking for the liquor shops to be removed from the area prior to the election.

The symbols this time are just two: a standing bottle and a tilted bottle.

Saying yes to the tilted bottle means the voters want the liquor shops in the village to shut, while a yes for the standing bottle would mean they want the shops to remain in business.

"Women here work so hard, taking care of the household, cooking food and then at night our husbands would come home drunk wasting everything from the food to our future," said Savitha Jadhav, a villager.

The procedure for such a choice was laid out on June 30, 2003, in the rules in the Gazette of the excise department, which says that if 25 per cent of women in a village support a move to ban the sale of liquor in the village and put their names down on an application, it becomes mandatory for the excise department to close the shops selling liquor immediately and later hold an election. In the election, if more than 50 per cent women vote for closing the shops, the Collector, in consultation with the excise department, has to order them shut.

Parunde village has a population of 1,657, of which 795 are women.

"It's become almost like a routine. The husbands would come every night in an inebriated state and start beating us. This abuse has to stop and we would leave no stone unturned to accomplish our goal," said Alka Bhokse, head of Pait village which has a population of 3,222, out of which 1,596 are women.

The women from 13 villages will probably cast their votes. (ANI)

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