GUWAHATI, May 7 - The ongoing global pandemic has not only affected the economy, but has also taken its toll on social life. Women are the main sufferers during the current situation. Especially, the government�s nod to allow operation of liquor shops and sale of tobacco products as a step to accelerate revenue generation, has made the situation more critical.
Talking on the issue, Kaberi Sarma, an official of city-based NGO Global Organisation for Life Development (GOLD), said, �After the reopening of liquor shops, every day we have been receiving domestic violence cases. Opening of liquor shops was a very dangerous decision in such a critical period. Consumption of alcohol is a major factor behind many women-related crimes. A few months ago we even received a case where an alcoholic father raped his 12-year-old daughter.�
Sarma said GOLD would provide shelter to the victims of domestic violence, but the police would have to carry out COVID-19 tests of the victim before taking her to the shelter home. She pointed out that consumption of alcohol is also responsible for many human trafficking cases that had taken place in the State in the recent past.
GOLD officials also continue giving telephonic counselling for domestic violence issues amid the current medical emergency situation. During the ongoing lockdown, its field workers have carried out door-to-door delivery of medicines to persons addicted to drugs and alcohol in the city.
Meanwhile, Neelakshi Sarma, an official of the 181 women helpline informed that between March 24 and May 3, it had received 66 domestic violence cases from different parts of the State.
During the same period the helpline received a total of 6,611 cases. The figure included four sexual violence cases, eight cases of crime against minors, nine cases of crime against elderly persons, one case of bigamy, five cases of obscene calls, eight cases of grievous injury and 31 cases of cyber crime.
Neelakshi Sarma informed that during the ongoing lockdown, cases of cyber crime and blackmailing have increased exponentially. A 38-year-old woman from lower Assam was also among the victims of cyber crime. Apart from this, a 13-year-old girl was raped by her father and uncle during this period in upper Assam.
Meanwhile, city-based physician Dr Anjan Saikia said that opening of liquor shops in such a situation is very harmful to society as consumption of alcohol will affect the immune system of the human body.