Saturday, 25 November 2017

Bihar Muslim girls are no stereotypes

 Cases of violence against women and adolescent girls in rural areas have declined sharply since prohibition, according to a survey the results of which chief minister Nitish Kumar will release on Sunday.

The absence of liquor has also led to behavioural improvement among addicts in the areas surveyed. These are the broad findings of the survey, "Impact assessment of total prohibition on lives of women and girls in rural Bihar", conducted by the Women Development Corporation's gender resource centre with technical assistance from the Development Management Institute.

Nitish is scheduled to release the report on November 26, the day Bihar will observe Prohibition Day.

"The percentage of rural women who faced physical violence dropped to 5 after prohibition from 54 when liquor used to be sold in Bihar," a senior official told The Telegraph about the survey outcome. "Similarly, the percentage of women facing sexual violence with physical torture came down to 3 from 17.

"Around 67 per cent addicts used to be abusive at home but only 9 per cent remain abusive after prohibition. Cases of quarrelling with neighbours have come down to 3 from 29 per cent."

A total 2,368 individuals, including 1,001 women, 242 men and 647 adolescent girls, were surveyed. Total 306 women whose male family members used to drink liquor before prohibition were personally interviewed.

The official said the samples were collected from Purnea, Kaimur West Champaran, Nawada and Samastipur districts - covering all regions of the state.

Among the grey areas, the survey has found "19 per cent people continue to drink liquor and spend around Rs 80 per day on it". Country liquor and Indian-made foreign liquor are also available, but at higher difficulty and prices.

Social scientist and Asian Development Research Institute (Adri) member secretary Shaibal Gupta said: "Positive outcomes show that prohibition is ushering in good changes in Bihar. But one thing would have to be understood that the government alone cannot ensure success of such moves. The civil society too would have to come forward and build a consensus against the ill-effects of alcohol consumption."

Adri had conducted a similar survey, commissioned by the excise department.



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