BHOPAL: While chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has been administering oath to the people to “give up liquor”, Madhya Pradesh government seems to have completely overlooked the issue of liquor shops located within the prohibited distance from schools as students from 10 districts have approached the CM through an NGO, seeking closure of such shops near their schools.
Hundreds of students have raised the issue with Childs Rights Observatory (CRO), Madhya Pradesh, an NGO, seeking help to persuade the government to address the menace. The CRO on Friday wrote a letter to the CM, requesting him to initiate necessary measures. “Students have raised voice against liquor shops near their schools and have provided a list of 24 liquor shops in 10 districts that are situated very close to the school premises, which poses a threat to their safety. We on behalf of students request you to take strict actions into the matter,” reads the letter. It further states that strict action needs to be taken against the shops and a survey should be conducted by the government to check vicinity of all schools in order to protect students from any untoward incident. Around 18 government school students, including missionary schools and government schools, have identified over 24 liquor shops within 100- 500 metres of the school premises.
Speaking to TOI, CRO president Nirmala Buch said the liquor shops are a common site near schools in the city. “It is a huge issue, which should have been resolved on priority, but has never been addressed in the state capital.” She said the vends cause problems for the students, especially girls, as drunkards often resort to teasing and harassing them. While Chouhan has been urging people to give up liquor during his Narmada Seva Yatra, his government appears reluctant to cancel liquor licence or shift vends located near educational institutions.