Kendrapara, August 9 (LocalWire): The indefinite agitation by women demanding closure of Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) shop at Bhitargada village under Rajnagar police station in Kendrapara district entered its third day today.
Many women and children launched an indefinite hunger strike braving rains and scorching sun since Wednesday.
Six women agitators have been admitted to a hospital in Rajnagar today after their condition worsened after three-day-long hunger strike.
The spontaneous movement was aimed at preventing men and children from getting addicted to alcohol, which, women said, led to a large chunk of their earnings going waste.
They blocked the Bhitargada road on the Rajnagar-Talachua stretch since Wednesday affecting traffic movement.
‘We blocked the road because many families are ruined because of these liquor shops, owned by ruling party leaders.
Several bystanders, impressed by the intensity of the protest by women of all age groups, have also joined in the agitation,’ said Basanti Rout of Bhitargada.
‘It is definitely a positive movement against liquor addiction, which has eaten into the resources of poor villagers, mostly working in fields.
Earlier, we requested the authorities not to open any liquor shop in the village but the officials didn’t pay any heed and opened one last year.
We don’t want alcohol, we want water,’ said Susama Sahoo of Bhitargada.
‘Many youths are already addicted to liquor and waste a substantial amount of their earnings on liquor, resulting in suffering and deprivation of the whole family,’ said Dharitri Pradhan of Jarimula.
Women activists including several Self Help Group (SHG) members also criticized the decision of the government to open liquor shops in rural areas.
‘The government’s decision isn’t helping rural families.
We recently chalked out plans to forcefully close liquor shops in rural areas,’ said Brunadabani Rout.
Security has been tightened in the village and its nearby areas to check any law and order situation, said the IIC of Rajnagar police station, Tapan Kumar Nayak.