The Bihar social welfare department has come out with a report card which claims that after prohibition in the state, “there is significant reduction in violence against women and girls in homes, public places and during festival and social functions”.
The report by the Gender Resource Centre under social welfare department says “99 per cent women are exuberant and are supportive of the liquor ban…. Only five per cent women report any continued physical violence, only six per cent women report any continued economic deprivation….”
The report was released on Sunday by CM Nitish Kumar. The report is based on interactions with 2,368 people from the districts of Nawada, Purnia, Samastipur, West Champaran and Kaimur between April and November 2016.
Anand Madhab, the principal consultant with the gender resource centre (GRC), said the objective of the study was to understand the impact of prohibition on the lives of women and girls, especially those living in rural areas. We had 26 focused group discussions with 1,001 women, 20 focused group discussions with 242 women and 10 discussions with 647 adolescent girls spread across all geographical areas.” Nitish said the report was very encouraging.
The report concluded that one major impact was substantial reduction in domestic violence cases, precisely from 54 per cent to five per cent. The case of verbal abuse against children by their fathers and relatives also came down from 35 per cent to five five per cent. The report said: “Consumption of food and non-food items has gone up by over 30 per cent. Money that is getting saved from liquor is being spent on buying green vegetables, milk, fish, meat, hiring private tuitions, better clothes and even snacks for children. People, who spent Rs 1,005 on these items, now spend Rs 1331”.
Post-prohibition, 84 per cent women say there are more savings and 31 per cent women say there is increase in their household income. The study said prohibition also ensured an increased role of women in decision making.