Women's Organizations Resent Free Flow of Booze at IFFI

Daijiworld Media Network - Goa (mb)
from special correspondent

Panaji, Nov 29:  Women's organizations in Goa on Thursday demonstrated at international film festival of India (IFFI) venue protesting against free flow of liquor during the ten-day-long festival.

Members of a local NGO in Goa 'Bailancho Ekvott' protesting in front of the Inox complex in Panaji against use of alcohol in public place openly during the ongoing 38th International Film Festival of India in Goa on Thursday. (Pic: Rajtilak Naik)

The representatives of Goa-based organizations like Bailancho Saad, Bailancho Ekvott, All India Women's Conference, ARZ and Positive People lamented state government's attempt to portray Goa as a liquor destination.

"Even otherwise a wrong picture about Goa is painted for outside world. When such events happen, people flock from outside and they feel that Goa means wine and women," Bailancho Ekvott president Auda Viegas stated.

The festival which was kicked off on November 23 and will culminate on December three has a famous liquor brand as its second highest sponsor who have chipped in Rs 25 lac. The organizers have allowed the stalls for the company who have also set up media lounge where beer and hard liquor is served for 'select few'.

The organizations, earlier, met Goa chief minister Digamber Kamat, chief secretary J P Singh and excise commissioner P S Reddy demanding revocation of the licence. With no action coming from the state government, the organizations on Thursday held a token protest with the resolution that they will intensify the strike in coming days.

"This wrong projection of Goa and its people has made the women of Goa pay a heavy price," Sabina Martins, who heads Bailancho Saad, stated.

The Entertainment Society of Goa (ESG), on the other hand, has ridiculed the protests stating that liquor is not a novelty for the state. "There are bars (liquor outlets) everywhere. We have not noticed any untoward incidents at the venue as a fall-out of alcohol serving. The brand are our major sponsors. How can we not allow them to sell their product?" ESG general manager Nikhil Desai reasoned.

The women's organizations who strongly object to sale of liquor at government premises said that Goa government is trying to project film festival as a liquor festival which will not be permitted.

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