Following a Supreme Court order banning liquor shops on National and State highways after March 31, a number of liquor store owners had to relocate their shops. (Read here to know more about one man who was instrumental in bringing about the above law.) One such relocation was of the Kerala State Beverages Corporation (BEVCO) shop from Baker Junction to Nathencode. The new location of the shop was just 50m away from an all-girls' school, Holy Angels Convent in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.
This created a feeling of discomfort among the girls, who had to walk past the liquor store while going to and from school. Rather than feeling vulnerable and helpless, these girls decided to take matters into their own hands. Around 100 students of the school along with teachers and residents decided to gather around the liquor store and protest against it opening near their school.
As per the existing laws, it is illegal to sell liquor or narcotic substances within 150m of schools. While talking to NDTV, one of the girls, Alshama, rightly said, "It is unsafe to open a liquor outlet right next to our school. Moreover, this is a girls' school. Why should we have to cross a liquor shop when we walk to our school or home? It’s about our safety.” Principal G Suzy told NDTV, "I am really worried about the future of my children, but I am glad they have decided to protest against this evil," while looking over the protests.
The store opened last Tuesday, but due to the protest, had to close down on Thursday morning. However, rumours that the store might open again in the evening sparked further protests. The girls stood strong in their belief, resulting in Excise Minister TP Ramakrishnan's involvement. He assured the protestors that the liquor outlets near the school will be closed down, rewarding their persistence and vigour.
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- Supreme Court
- Liquor store
- Alcohol law
- Excise Minister
- Kerela State Beverages Corporation
- Holy Angels Convent