On 13th December, 2011, in the evening, 183 poor people died out of poisonous hooch drinking at West Bengal’s Diamond Harbor Subdivision including 4 police stations viz:- Magrahat, Mandira Bazar, Diamond Harbor, and Sangrampur. The poisonous hooch was supplied from a single illegal shop owned by a local hooch don Badsha Khora of Mograhat police station. For last 13 days, it had been the headlines of all the leading newspapers and TV channels of the country. All political parties and Chief Minister are seriously debating over the issue even thinking over the excise duties.
The death toll reaches to 183 (173 with postmortem reports, and 10 without any post mortem report). The 95% of the dead people were the earning members of poor Muslim families which include rickshaw pullers, hawkers, labors, etc. Now the families are totally helpless and desperately looking for help. Normally in this situation, Muslim women are forced to become prostitute as in Kolkata city which is very close to this locality.
Chief Minister instantly provided Rs 10 thousand for funeral affairs. The govt. declared Rs.2 lacks for those having postmortem report. The govt. also declared to demolish illegal hooch dens in the area. It is a horrible fact that on the other hand, the government is paving the way to open more and more licensed liquor shops in the state. Almost all the MLAs of different parties opposed not to help the drunkers. The Chief Minister Ms. Mamata Banarjee argued that she was not helping the dead drunkers but their mothers and the children. Only at the time of death, some political leaders visited those sites. Till now, Chief Minister and any govt. officials have not visited those families.
Jamaat-e-Islami Hind West Bengal zone has realized the issue from a different angle. The destitute widows had been fighting their whole lives against their drunker husbands to save their families. Therefore, on humanitarian grounds, the Jamaat has decided to stand by them in this situation. The Jamaat has started relief work for those families. We have already surveyed most of those families, and the process is going on. The Jamaat has also launched its Antidrug Campaign throughout the entire state from 19th December, 2011.
Jamaat’s Budget for Instant Relief:
· Blankets : 183×2 @Rs. 400/- = Rs.146400/-
· Share : 183×1 @Rs. 300/- = Rs.54900/-
· Garments : 276×1 @Rs. 500/- = Rs.138000/-
· Cash : 183×1 @Rs. 500/- = Rs.91500/-
Jamaat’s Budget for Rehabilitation:
For earning, widows can be engaged with tailoring and jari work with Rs. 5000/- cash for each family.
Small shop/sewing machine/jari work @Rs 5000/-x 183families: = Rs.915000/-