SHILLONG, Feb 7 � Assam government�s benevolent policy of issuing wine store and bar licences is indirectly breaking families with alcoholism-related domestic violence on the rise in the state.
Figures indicate that domestic violence tops the list of all forms of violence against women reported at the Assam State Women�s Commission (ASWC) last year.
ASWC chairperson, Meera Barooah, said: �Domestic violence is the biggest concern for women in Assam today and growing alcoholism amongst men is a major contributing factor in such violence.�
Barooah was here today to attend a two-day regional conference on �achieving convergence for empowerment of women,� at the Hotel Pinewoods today.
The chairperson said that the commission had earlier petitioned the excise department and also state government authorities to check growing number of country liquor dens.
�We would soon approach the State Government on the growing number of Indian Made Foreign Liquor wine stores and bars in the State and urge the government to have a relook into its policy,� she added.
Barooah said that dowry-related issues, people�s growing materialism, changed lifestyle and low-level of tolerance when fuelled by alcohol makes matter worse.
Many victims and their families, moreover, are reluctant to report such cases to the police and the commission is encouraging people to do away with this negative trend.
�The other grey area is trafficking of women and we are trying to work with various agencies to get a grip over this crime,� Monideepa Borkotoky, a member of the commission said.
She said that the commission has tied up with a non-profit organisation� Global Organisation for Life Development � for rescue and rehabilitation of trafficked girls and women.
Moreover, witch-wizard-hunting although reported from isolated pockets of the State like Kokrajhar, Kamrup (rural) Udalguri, Sonitpur and others, primarily dominated by Bodo and Adivasis communities, is another concern for the State.
�In most of these cases the victims are women, especially elderly and single women. We have been organising various awareness camps in these places through discussions, seminars, distribution of pamphlets, etc. to eradicate this social evil,� Barooah added.