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Adivasi women join hands to fight against alcoholism

A Correspondent
TANGLA, May 21: The Adivasi community of the State whose fate remains locked decades after the British left them in the tea gardens, is plagued with innumerous socio-economic hardships. In the labour lines of tea gardens in Udalguri, merriment begins as soon as the sun goes down. There is not much entertainment so ‘making merry’ essentially means indulging in free-flowing, locally-brewed alcohol. Alcoholism is a truth in almost every tea garden labourer’s family. Having borne and seen enough, the womenfolk in these gardens are finally taking matters into their own hands and the Udalguri district Kurmi Mahila Samiti in its maiden effort is attempting to bring down alcoholism in the gardens and detoxify their lives.

The Udalguri district committee of Kurmi Mahila Samiti organized an awareness programme on the rising culture of alcoholism at Beluguri village under Orang Police Station in Udalguri on Sunday. The meeting, chaired by its president Sarla Mahato, was attended by women of 15 village committees of the organization. The women joined hands in unison and called for curbing alcohol and consumption of intoxicating materials which are reasons behind rising social crimes. The women pleaded publicly to impose fine on people consuming alcohol.

The Beluguri village witnessed the gruesome murder of one Maniram Gour after a group of drunk people indulged in a fight over petty issues on May 10. The awareness meet was also addressed by Orang Police Station, OC Gagan Chandra Deka; Assam Kurmi Samaj secretary and adiviser Hemanta Mahato and Nimai Mahato, among activists of Orang ATTSA.

The speakers alleged that the Udalguri Excise department had allegedly been collecting money from the dens selling country liquor which had grown in every nook and corner of the district. The speakers exhorted the department concerned to carry out drives to evict such dens at the earliest.

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Ankur Kalita