Gujarat may have tightened liquor laws to plug booze flow in the state but locals are coming up with out of box solutions to tackle the menace created by drunkards. Motipura village, some 7 km away from motown Sanand, has its own cage where those caught drunk are imprisoned.
The person stays inside the cage until he pays Rs 1,200, which is used for socio-religious activities in the whole village, the cage is called ‘Motipura Jail’.
The village has also fitted wheels to the ‘jail’ to tackle nuisance of more active and unmanageable residents. The cage is rolled to the village outskirts until the person locked inside gets sober to ensure a good night’s sleep for locals.
Villagers says drastic times called for drastic measures. The village, with a population of around 3500, was caught in the stranglehold of alcohol-related ailments. Then, sometimes in 2016, elders met and decided to find a solution to the menace.
Someone came up with the idea of jail and fine for consumoing liquor. It was implemented and the results are already showing.
“Liquor was a major menace. About 80% of the men consumed alcohol and families suffered. The situation has improved after village got it’s own jail”, said Bharat Nayak, president of the Nat Smajh that constitutes majority population of Motipura. These members of the nomad community earn their living by playing musical instruments at functions or as manual labors.
Village sarpanch Babu Nayak says liquor consumptions has notstopped completely but has proved a major deterrent. “Many people completely have quit drinking, some after going through public shame of spending days in the jail while some at the thought of being caged”. The sarpanch added.
Women have played a huge part in the success story. A committee of 40 youth has been formed to identify drunk persons. At around 9pm, the committee members visit houses and check if any of them have consumed liquor. “In many cases, the women inform us that men in their homes have consumed alcohol”, said Rajesh Nayak, president of the committee.