Mumbai: Anna Hazare, who is known for uniting the nation to stand against the rampant corruption in the system with his Gandhian approach, has made great efforts to make his village, Ralegan Siddhi, livable.

The village which earlier witnessed more than 30 liquor dens, has diametrically changed now as alcohol, tobacco, cigarettes and gutka are conspicuous by their absence in Ralegan Siddhi.

Hazare realized that without addressing the adverse effect of consuming liquor properly, no effective reform could be brought in the village where people would abstain from taking alcohol.

He avoided a blanket ban on taking liquor in Ralegan Siddhi as it may lead forming two groups in the village, which could escalate violence.

Hazare made strategy with a group of 30-40 youngsters who decided to take up the liquor issue seriously.

Before closing down the liquor dens in Ralegan Siddhi, Hazare helped villagers getting employment and guided them how to get bank loans to start small-scale business in the village. 

At a meeting conducted with Gram Sabha, the villagers resolved to close down liquor dens and abstain from taking alcohol.

Even after closing down the liquor dens, the problem continued as people from other villages came down to Ralegan Siddhi and indulged in taking liquor with some locals.  

When some villagers were found to be drunk, they were tied to pillars and flogged sometimes personally by Hazare. The villagers did not muster courage to stand against the move and gradually they abstained from addiction of alcohol. 

JPN/Bureau