Forty leading writers, thinkers and social activists from Maharashtra have appealed to Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and NCP chief Sharad Pawar that the ban on alcohol in Gadchiroli district must not be lifted.
“It is in the interest of tribal people and women, and has the wide support of gram sabhas and the women’s movement. Alcohol consumption in the district has reduced due to the ban. The idea of a committee to lift the ban should be canceled and, on the contrary, the ban should be more effectively implemented,” stated the letter by the activists and artists, as per a press note issued by activist Abhay Bang, who serves the Gadchiroli tribal communities with his health initiatives.
State Minister for OBC Welfare and Relief and Rehabilitation, Vijay Wadettiwar, who has been making statements against prohibition in Gadchiroli and Chandrapur, had said the government would constitute a committee with a view to lift prohibition in the two districts. It has, however, not been done as yet.
Social activists Anna Hazare, Anjali Damania and Prakash Amte, actor Amol Palekar, scientist-administrator Anil Kakodkar, writer Anil Awachat and Member of Parliament Vinay Sahasrabuddhe are among those who have made the appeal.
In Gadchiroli, activists have revived the District Darumukti Sanghatana led by Abhay Bang, which had struggled for prohibition in the late 1980s, resulting in the declaration of prohibition in 1993.
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