It was a peculiar scene Thursday when some people who went out looking to buy liquor in Ludhiana were instead offered milk at the vends, whose shutters remained down despite the Punjab government allowing their opening with permission of home delivery of bottles.
The “Duddh Da Theka”, right in front of the liquor vends, is the brainchild of the Youth Akali Dal (YAD) as a protest against the state government’s move to open the liquor shops.
Gurdeep Singh Gosha, district president, YAD, said 75 litres of milk was distributed among the needy and the migrants and the ‘sewa’ will now continue on daily basis. Gosha had set up the “Duddh Da Theka” outside a closed liquor vend opposite railway station in Ludhiana.
“If Captain can permit distribution of liquor door to door, then why can’t he ensure door to door delivery of ration and food to the needy? People, especially migrants, do not have food to eat and here is a government, which is pushing people to spend on liquor that too in a state where liquor addiction is already root cause of drug addiction in most cases,” said Gosha.
The YAD leader said that the home delivery liquor will lead to a rise in cases of domestic violence and other crimes against women. “Captain promised to end drug menace in Punjab. Is this how he plans to eliminate drugs? By promoting liquor,” asked Gosha.
Meanwhile, Lakhvir Singh, president of Jarnail Hari Singh Nalwa Cultural and Welfare Society, which has been distributing milk, fruits and bread buns daily to needy in Ludhiana since lockdown started, also said that home delivery of liquor was a wrong decision by Punjab government.
“We are distributing milk along with fruits and buns to provide healthy diet to poor people amid lockdown. We distribute 75 litres of milk everyday. There are families where children aren’t getting milk to drink due to lockdown as their parents aren’t getting work. Instead of helping them, home delivery of liquor has been started. This will only lead to spike in domestic violence cases,” said Lakhvir Singh, who is also the spokesperson of Namdhari sect dera at Bhaini Sahib.
Ludhiana Youth Congress, meanwhile, termed the YAD’s move as “drama and hypocrisy”. Senior Youth Congress leader Rajiv Raja said, “We are distributing langar and ration to people and also to quarantined patients. All that YAD doing is political drama. It is hypocrisy at its best.”
Asked about the home delivery of liquor, he said, “It is a decision taken by CM. What is wrong in it?”
Raja also cited the example Delhi Chief Minister Arvind, who he said “opened the vends where thousands were seen standing in queues to buy liquor, but in Punjab, to avoid queues, home delivery has been started.”
He said that “non-availability of liquor” could lead to a spike in domestic violence.
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