On Friday, April 9, Thaneta village in Rajasthan’s Rajsamand district became a liquor-free village. All liquor shops in their panchayat were shut as its residents voted for the same, after an anti-liquor campaign by the village’s women.
2206 out of the 3245 eligible voters were in favour of alcohol prohibition. While 40 votes were declared invalid, only 61 votes were cast against prohibition.
The polling on Friday was supervised by the officials of the Rajsamand district administration, including Collector Arvind Poswal and SDM CP Varma. The special vote was carried out under the Rajasthan Excise Rules, as per which a panchayat can opt for closing a liquor shop if 50 percent of its residents vote for it, The New Indian Express reported.
The villagers danced and rejoiced outside the polling booth after the result was declared, as they fight to shut down liquor shops in the Rajasthan village bore fruit.
Thaneta village Sarpanch, Deeksha Chauhan was delighted with the result and said, “We are happy that the wait of people of our village has finally ended. We want all liquor shops to be banned. People in Thaneta were inspiring each other to vote for this liquor ban and our work for the past several months has borne fruit with people’s support.”
In this region, alcoholism was an extremely worrying issue. The village’s women are the ones who suffered the ill-effects of alcoholism the most, therefore, led by their woman sarpanch, they have been campaigning for prohibition.
Sarpanch Deeksha Chauhan remarked, “When I used to go to different areas, women used to complain that their husbands wasted a lot of their earnings on liquor. Often the men used to even beat their wives or met with accidents while they were drunk and it’s women and children who suffered. But now I think people’s lives will improve a lot as we will have prohibition in our panchayat.”
Malti Devi, whose husband often thrashed her while drunk, is relieved. She was one of the women who voted for the liquor shop’s closure.
“Alcohol has ruined many families here. We women are badly affected since we lose our husbands and sons to this habit. I hope we will now see the end of this disease of drinking,” she remarked.
Once the district administration approves the results of Friday’s vote, the excise department is likely to issue a notification announcing the closure of all liquor shops within Thaneta panchayat.