Lucknow, May 24 (SocialNews.XYZ) The Indian Boozers Association (IBA), based in Bulandshahr, has demanded status of '40 crore tipplers in the country at par with that of farmers and the MSME (Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises) sector.'
Their argument is that if tipplers are contributing huge revenue to the government coffers, there should be welfare measures and government schemes for them.
The IBA came into existence in 2015 when 50 eminent persons in Bulandshahr and nearby districts came together to fight for the rights of liquor consumers and to create awareness among the masses to remove the 'stigma' attached to drinking.
IBA founder president Hari Angira, said, "During the ongoing pandemic, the government machinery came to a standstill and when every source of revenue dried up in the lockdown, it was the tipplers who came to the rescue of the government by buying liquor. If we demand dignity and welfare schemes for liquor consumers and their families, what is wrong in that? After all, we -- like doctors and nurses and policemen -- are also contributing to the fight against coronavirus. We should also be officially termed as 'Corona Warriors'."
District president of IBA, Laxmi Narain, said, "Liquor consumers are subjected to all sorts of harassment. Of late, governments of various states have increased excise duty on liquor and still consumers are willingly paying for it. It is we who are contributing to the government coffers at the moment. We want MSME status, concessional loans and relief package. When there are so many welfare schemes for a farmer, why not one for liquor lovers. We demand insurance schemes for consumers' families."
Hari Angira said, "On the face of it, the entire concept might sound hilarious but a grave reality lies hidden behind it. We have a logical demand here. Either the government should completely ban production, stocking and sale of liquor or give some benefits to consumers."
The IBA now plans to spread its wings to all districts in the state in order to muster greater support for its demands.