Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jan 30:
On the 68th death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, members of ‘Milita Odisha Nisha Nibarana Abhiyan’ today took out a rally near Master Canteen square of Bhubaneswar and picketed in front of liquor shops demanding enforcement of total prohibition in the state.
“Whatever poor men earn goes for liquor in this state. This affects the family structure. There are more liquor shops than lift irrigation points in rural areas. This trade has shaken off the financial and social backbone of Odia society,” said Sugyan Mohanty, a protester demonstrating in front of a liquor shop in Master Canteen.
“The government earns about Rs 2500 crore in revenue from liquor trade, but it can be earned by various other means too. The government is risking lives of four crore Odias for Rs 2500 crore. If Bihar can afford to lose Rs 4000 crore, why can’t Odisha! The sole point is, the government doesn’t intend to do so,” said Ananya Das, a member of Milita Odisha Nisha Nivarana Abhiyan.
“We demand the state to be declared a liquor free state. There has to be total prohibition. The social and economic backbone of Odia society has taken a severe beating due to liquor. Family values have gone for a toss. On this context, we would like the Odisha Government to enforce prohibition like Bihar,” said Debjyoti, a student of a city based college.