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Drunkards Beware

Just eight months ago in Dhari, a village in Pithoragarh, Uttaranchal, liquor had made life hell for women. There were drunken brawls; women would be abused in front of their wailing children. But today, according to a Civil Society report, men here do not dare to drink. Says Meena, leader of Mahila Mangal Dal, “We have made the men give up alcohol. Let them drink just once and they will be brought to their senses.” And how is that done? If any man is caught drunk, a whistle is blown. The Dal immediately hurries to the spot and thrashes the man with bichupani, stinging nettle. The change is remarkable. Say Hariram and Manohar, residents of Dhari, “Who would dare to drink? It is not the police we fear, but these women.” [more]