Warning message

“The politicians themselves are running the business, both AIADMK and DMK leaders benami are running the industry and they are only running the bars.”

Consider giving relief money to women Madras HC tells TN govt
news Flood aid Friday, December 18, 2015 - 20:52

The Madras High Court has asked the Tamil Nadu government to consider handing over relief money to women as past experience has shown that men often squander away the amount on alcohol.

Hearing a PIL filed by social activist Ananth Narayanan, the Madras High Court on Thursday urged the state government to attempt to ensure that financial assistance provided as part of flood rehabilitation measures was delivered to women rather than men. While the Court made these observations, it rejected several other pleas made by Narayanan.

Narayan had field the PIL with the court on December 8 during the first spell of rain that Chennai witnessed. He had asked the court to direct the Tamil Nadu state government to suspend sale of liquor through the TASMAC shops fearing it would worsen the impact of the calamity.

Narayanan had submitted the findings of a survey done in the wake of the 2004 tsunami in the six worst affected hamlets of Kanyakumari district. The survey found that in a number of cases relief money was spent on alcohol, going up to over 80% of the relief amount with some men.

In order to prevent reoccurrence of such a situation, Narayanan suggested that at least the government should transfer the money to the women of every family instead of men.

However Naryanan says that it is not a fool proof remedy. “You need to make the best out of the worst situation and there is no easy solution, we can only make progress. Even If the women get the money, the men can still take the money by beating the women but at least part of it go will go for the relief, if not the full.”

But he feels that if an attempt is made to give direct cash transfers to women through bank accounts, it could reduce the expenditure on alcohol.

However, Narayanan is not seeking a complete ban on alcohol even though the state has been discussing it for some time now. Rueing the political involvement in the alcohol business, Narayanan said, “Liquor is being promoted aggressively by politicians and corporate in the guise of revenue for the government and it is harmful compared to what we used to get earlier from coconut, palm and other natural things.”

He says all the political parties are equally responsible, “All the opposition parties PMK, DMK, MDMK, CPM, and the BJP have asked for banning alcohol but unfortunately electoral politics is different from street politics.”

He further alleges, “The politicians themselves are running the business, both AIADMK and DMK leaders benami are running the industry and they are only running the bars.”

Become a TNM Member for just Rs 999!
You can also support us with a one-time payment.