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Development Is Meaningless Without Social Reforms: Nitish Kumar

India's first civil disobedience movement was launched by Mahatma Gandhi in Champaran district in 1917 to protest against the injustice meted out to tenant farmers in the area.

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Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday launched a statewide social reform campaign against alcoholism, dowry, and child marriage from Motihari in East Champaran district.

India's first civil disobedience movement was launched by Mahatma Gandhi in Champaran district in 1917 to protest against the injustice meted out to tenant farmers in the area.

Addressing a public meeting at Gandhi Maidan here, the chief minister declared that there would be no compromise on total prohibition in the state.

Without social reforms, development becomes meaningless, he said.

Kumar recalled that the state had its first brush with prohibition in 1977 when his mentor Karpoori Thakur ruled Bihar.

With a regime change, the ban on liquor was done away with. We reimposed the same following demand from women.

This has resulted in manifold benefits for the people of Bihar," said the chief minister.

The Nitish Kumar government had on April 5, 2016, banned the manufacture, trade, storage, transportation, sale, and consumption of liquor in the state.

We introduced prohibition in the state since alcohol is a bad thing. I know that majority of people are in favour of a liquor ban in the state. Mahatma Gandhi said liquor destroys lives. Pleas from our women had made us take the decision, Kumar said.

The chief minister said "some people are always up to mischief and they indulge in acts that go against our well-intentioned move.

Strict action is being taken against those who are violating the prohibition law in the state, he said.

The chief minister also urged people, particularly women, to make efforts to eradicate social evils like child marriage, dowry, and all types of addictions including liquor consumption.

He further said that he would attend only those marriage functions where no to dowry' is prominently mentioned on invitation cards.

Further, the chief minister instructed officials that permission for holding marriage receptions should be given only after taking declaration from the parties concerned that "no dowry demand has been made".

Kumar appealed to the villagers and the Anganwadi workers to report cases of child marriage to the police and help prevent such a social evil by convincing parents about the ill effects of child marriage.

The chief minister's campaign will culminate with programmes in Patna and Nalanda on January 15.

After addressing the public meeting, the chief minister chaired a review meeting on liquor prohibition and other social reforms taken up by the state government in East and West Champaran districts.

(PTI)


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