President urged to stop liquor sales on government premisesJanuary 5th, 2011 - 12:44 pm ICT by IANS
Panaji, Jan 5 (IANS) A woman’s rights group has urged President Pratibha Patil to stop the sale of wine and liquor at government premises in Goa. In a petition, Bailancho Saad, a woman’s organisation, sought Patil’s intervention to stop a government-promoted wine festival to be held at a multiplex in the capital later this month.
Patil is on a four-day-vacation in Goa.
“As the constitutional head, you are required to uphold the directive principles of the constitution prohibiting state governments from promoting alcohol,” Bailancho Saad convenor Sabina Martins said in her memorandum submitted Tuesday evening.
“Goa Tourism Development Corporation had issued an advertisement inviting applications for stalls for the festival held annually at INOX, a government premises. Saad demands that alcohol sale and promotion on government premises be stopped forthwith,” Martins said.
Grape Escapade, scheduled Jan 27-30, exposes thousands of tourists and locals to the world of wines.
Wine distilleries from across India and several parts of the globe promote their brands at the event, along with several other cultural shows held at the multiplex courtyard on land leased by the government in the heart of the capital.
Patil had often referred to the evils of alcohol in her speeches after she took over as the president. At a speech in Kochi, Patil was concerned about alcoholism in Kerala.
“It is a state where the female population is over 51 percent and the literacy rate of females is 88 percent, the highest in India. However, I am surprised to learn that in spite of this, alcoholism is rampant and women are the worst sufferers,” Patil said in her 2009 speech in Kerala.
In July last year, Patil had also given her nod to the stringent Delhi Excise Act, under which roadside drinking attracts a penalty of Rs 5,000.
It is this anti-alcohol enthusiasm that the woman’s rights group wants to cash in on, with the memorandum reminding Patil about her comments on the ill effects of alcohol on women and children.
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