Liquor-free panchayat in Odisha sets example

Phulbani: At a time when wide-spread anti-liquor protests are erupting, residents of Parttamaha, one of the remotest parts of Kandhamal district, have made their panchayat ‘alcohol-free’ through awareness.

Women, youths and intellectuals joined hands for the ‘Mada Mukta Panchayat’ and launched awareness programmes in the villages about the ill effects of liquor. And the results are there for all to see.

“Around 10 years back, liquor trade and production was rampant in the area. The then local sarpanch, some village elders and youth associations launched awareness programmes and persuaded villagers to stop the practice,” said Padmanabaha Sahu, a resident Partamaha.

The State government has also accorded ‘Adarsh Panchayat’ status to Parttamaha.

“Earlier the financial and social condition of people was very bad. Women and youths joined hands to make the panchayat liquor-free. Now there is a unity among villagers,” said Kailash Chandra Dandapat, social activist.