• otv
Sharmili Mallick

Rayagada: At a time when the State's excise department has proposed to open more Indian-made foreign liquor (IMFL) shops and reward successful licensed traders, women of Dumaguda and Mariguda villages under Rayagada Sub-Division are leaving no stone unturned to crackdown the liquor menace.

Reportedly, the women members of the self-help groups (SHG) of both these villages have decided to impose a penalty of Rs 1,000 on local people if they are found in an inebriated state. This apart, they have threatened that those who are caught boozing will be handed over to the police.

The SHG members alleged that women are scared to move around in the village due to nuisance created by the alcoholic men, which has forced them to come up with the decision.

"There is a guest house near our village where people booze regularly. Sometimes, they booze in our farmland and leave behind the empty broken bottles due to which many of us have received injuries. Following the SHG meeting, it was decided to penalise the drunkards," said a resident of Dumaguda, Ganga Kadraka.

"As women and girls are scared to move around, the members of the SHG held a meeting and discussed how the menace can be addressed. Later, we wrote a letter to police seeking protection for the villagers of Mariguda and Dumguda. We have also decided to collect a penalty of Rs 1,000 from those who are found drunk," said a resident of Mariguda, Menka Reddy.

Though the Rayagada Sub-Collector Pratap Chandra Pradhan hailed the move, he said the women do not have rights to collect penalty from people who are found drunk.

"This is an example of women empowerment. It's a welcome move as it will help in creating awareness about the ill effects of alcohol. However, law will take its own course and they have not been given any authority in this regard from the administration. The excise department has been asked to intervene and take action," said Pradhan.

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