In order to discourage overconsumption of alcohol, Uttarakhand’s Devprayag Police in Tehri district has announced a reward of Rs 10,001 for brides who say no to alcohol parties at their weddings. The initiative has been undertaken under the ‘Bhuli’, (sister in Garhwali) Kanyadan scheme and is aimed at reducing incidents of drunken fights and such crimes in the villages.
The money would be put together by the staff of the police station. The station house officer of the Devprayag police station Mahipal Rawat has spearheaded the initiative and the village locals have also consented to the same to prevent law and order problems in the area, media reports said.
Last year, womenfolk in the state’s Tharali block of Chamoli and Didihat division in Pithoragarh had also initiated a drive to ban liquor consumption in their villages due to rising incidents of overconsumption among the youth. The state has frequently been conducting such anti-liquor drives.
Rawat was quoted by TOI as saying that in the hilly areas of the state, booze parties were never the norm but due to urbanisation, they have become commonplace in village parties that often lead to brawls and misbehaviour with women. He said the step will hopefully prevent such incidents and also inspire the locals to focus more on their rituals and culture.
He also said that such recent practices often pressurize other economically weaker families in the villages to spend exorbitantly to match upto the others, even putting them under debts often.
State activists have earlier organised various events including foot marches to demand the government to start a new department to promote anti-liquor activism. Women in the village areas have often taken a lead role in conducting such anti-liquor drives, including protesting against new liquor stores.
Women in Gopeshwar area also had started a drive where they used to rub a stingy grass to those who lined up to buy liquor to prevent alcohol abuse in the villages.