India: Unusual Punishment for Hooch Drinkers
In India’s Gujarat, prohibition has not curbed the selling and consumption of illicit alcohol. Following last month’s tragedy which claimed over 120 lives in a village in Gujarat, the state decided to punish those consuming and selling country-made alcohol known as hooch.
[Kamlesh Patel, Local, Siddhapur Village]:
„Putting a ban on the consumption of alcohol in our village has been very profitable so far, especially for the people who used to drink and sell alcohol near schools. They used to fill alcohol in small pouches and sell near schools, and this was not good for students and people living in the surrounding neighborhood.“
The punishment is unusual. A person who is found drinking or selling alcohol has to sit on a thorny tree for 24 hours and pay a 20 dollar fine.
[Thakur Kankuji, Local, Siddhapur Village]:
„When I came back from the city, I saw some people sitting on a tree and thought that if I don’t quit drinking I will also be up there one day. So, I had to quit drinking.“
Hooch is much cheaper compared to licensed drinks, which most of the poorer population cannot afford.