Jaipur: Two Panchayats, Barar and Weir, have become the fourth and fifth in Rajsamand district to vote for the removal of a liquor shop in the village on Saturday. The voting for the removal took place under the relevant sections of the Rajasthan Excise Act following the movement by the village women since 2015.
The voting started at 8am till 5pm saw 64% voting mostly by the women sealed the fate of the sale of liquor in the village. The minimum votes required is 51% of the total registered 5,632 voters. The enthusiasm level in both the panchayats was far high than assembly and legislative polls as women came out in hordes singing and dancing till late in the evening.
Sarpanch of Barar, Pankaja Singh along with a group of women ran from one house to another calling women to vote throughout the day. “Our village men are addicted to liquor in high numbers is a reason that women and children in every second household suffer from domestic violence. The addiction has increased the poverty in the village as the men were selling ornaments, land and movable articles to pay for the liquor,” said Singh who recalled that in 2015 for the first time she gave the representation to local administration against the removal of the shop.
The pre-condition for the polls is that 20% of the voters must agree to vote by signing a petition. In 2017, the movement received a setback when the village didn’t qualify for the voting as less than 20% of the villagers agree to go for votes.
The campaign again intensified in 2019 and the village qualified for the voting in 2021 along with Wier. Arvind Poswal, the district collector of Rajsamand, says, “The application for the voting was seriously pursued by us even after the failure in the first attempt. I gave credit to the resolve of women who have never given up for the past five years.” He informed that this is the fourth village in the district and assured that if his office will come across any such application will be proceeded immediately.
Pooja Bharti Chhabra, national president of Sharabbandi Andolan, the provision of removal of a liquor shop in panchayat and ward wise was injected in 2013 in Rajasthan Excise Act by the Gehlot government. “So far, seven panchayats have exercised the special right including five in panchayats, Kachabali, Mandawar, Thaneta, Barar and Wier (Rajsamand), Rozda gram panchayat in Jaipur Rural and Foga gram panchayat in Churu,” said Chhabra.