Villagers across eight districts of Punjab have urged the state excise department to prohibit allotment of liquor vends in their villages.
“The government should help us by discouraging availability of liquor. We do not want that the village youth spoil their life by falling prey to alcohol,” said Jarnail Singh, a sarpanch from Sangrur district.
The excise department generates a lot of revenue through liquor distribution, which has resulted in availability of liquor even in remote villages. Villagers are concerned that this is affecting their youth in a detrimental way.
“We are ready to take legal recourse if the department does not heed to our plea”, said Gurnam Singh, a sarpanch from Patiala district. Villagers argue that easy availability of liquor had led to the village youth getting addicted to alcohol from early age.
While the action of the excise department remains to be seen, closing liquor shops cannot altogether curb the menace. In many parts of our rural areas, despite many anti-liquor agitations and movements, liquor is sold illegally. But in some areas, community policing, has helped make a difference.