What you aspire can be achieved

Roshani Devi – Prohibited Public Drinking

Stop DrinkingKothal Khurd, a remote village in the state of Haryana, India,  was used to the site of men drinking in open and women fearing the crash-landing of their boozed up husbands who will beat up their wives and children on returning home. 

Life was nothing less than hell for these women until Roshani Devi – a Dalit woman in her 30s and now the Sarpanch of the village – vowed to bring this to an end during the village panchayat’s elections in 2005. She got elected, humiliating the other nine male contestants by securing more votes than their totalled together. “I promised during my campaign for the 2005 panchayat elections that if I got elected, I’d ban the consumption of liquor in public places,” she said.

Her election was a hard pill to swallow for the male-dominated village. She was abused and locked up for over four hours on her first day as Sarpanch. “I complained to the local police but the station house officer refused to take any action. None of other officials I approached helped. I then met the Superintendent of Police who directed the SHO to take action,” she said.

Getting an inkling that Roshani minced no words, the elderly advised her to withdraw her complaint. Sensing an opportunity, Roshani bartered the deal and demanded all liquor sellers in and around the village to shut shop in return. Following days of negotiation, the men gave in. Without wasting any time, Roshani Devi called the panchayat and passed an order that asked all liquor shops within 1 km of the village to shut down. A copy of the order was dispatched to Mahendragarh Deputy Commissioner’s office, following which three shops were closed in a month’s time.

Men being men, kept trying to impose their supremacy, shopping alcohol from the adjoining villages and still returning home drunk. Village women showed harder resolve, formed groups patrolling the village streets and dealt severely with those who were found drinking. Roshani Devi, along with other group members, visited their houses the next day counseling them to stop drinking.

Results started surfacing soon as some quit and some limited their intake, that too only at home. Taking cue from Roshani Devi and her group, similar movement has been witnessed in 20 other villages in Haryana.

The spark generated by Roshani Devi has ignited a serious fire within these women and it’s just a matter of time that the movement will engulf most of rural India and create awareness against public drinking leading to domestic violence. Well done are our ‘Star of the Day’.

No Responses to “Roshani Devi – Prohibited Public Drinking”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: