GUWAHATI, Sept 24 - Opposing the State government�s reported move to issue permits for opening more liquor shops across the State � ostensibly for enhanced revenue generation � a number of organisations engaged in children and women welfare have moved Governor Banwarilal Purohit, saying that the step would cause individual, familial and societal degradation.
�We all agree that the progress of a State is also dependent on its revenue generated. However, we are concerned that with the proposed increase in the number of liquor shops all over the State, besides other vulnerabilities, the vulnerabilities of women and children to abuse, violence and neglect will increase,� the organisations said in a petition to the Governor.
Urging the Governor to use his good office to ask the State government to reconsider the decision of permitting more liquor shops, the organisations said that they apprehend its �deleterious effects on society�.
�In spite of various legal provisions, it has also been seen that children have also started consuming different types of liquor and facing numerous problems (including the immediate socio-familial problems and the medium and long-term health and social problems) which have affected their overall development,� the petition said.
Pointing out that though revenue earned through sale of liquor may increase the income of the State, the organisations argued that the morbidity and mortality and law-and-order situation and their effects on society at large associated with liquor consumption correspondingly increase the health and social costs as well.
The organisations added that in view of the associated hazards resulting in individual, familial and societal degradation, �We, as citizens of a welfare state, need to be cautious and if and where needed, urge the State not to take such a step which is very likely to disturb society in any manner.�
The signatories to the petition included Dr Chiranjeeb Kakoty of North East Society for the Promotion of Youth and Masses (NESPYM), Damayanti Devi of Kasturba Gandhi National Memorial Trust (KGNMT) Assam Branch, Nayan Bhandari Sharma of Sarvodaya Trust, Ruchira Neog of Voluntary Health Association of Assam, Nilima Kakaty of Assam Pradeshik Mahila Samity, Dr Alaka Bhattacharyya of University (Graduate) Women Association and Minati Choudhury of Assam State Red Cross Society, Assam Branch.