he district administration has shut seven Tasmac shops in Coimbatore at Singanallur (opposite ESI hospital), Perur Chettipalayam, Cheripalayam, Sundarapuram and Vadachittur when members of AIDWA had protested. Two shops at Kinathukidavu were also shut down.
When the Tasmac shop located at Perur Chettipalyam was shut by the district administration, the entire area celebrated the event like a festival. Crackers were burst, functions were held and sweets were distributed.
“We feel like we are liberated after 15 years. We have been protesting for several years. Last June, more than 400 women united to protest against the shop. Every time we visited the temple, the medical shop or returned home, we were humiliated by these men who passed lewd comments about us. We are glad that it will all come to an end now,” said R Padmavathi who has been residing at Perur Chettipalayam for over 20 years.
Residents of other areas were also happy and grateful to the administration. A woman whose 25 year-old son was a regular visitor to the Tasmac shop in Cheripalayam said, “Though, this would not stop my son from consuming alcohol, it will at least stop him from visiting the shop every hour,” said the woman who did not want to be named. The district administration officials said that since most of these shops were in a dilapidated condition and located in areas where there were schools, temples and shops, the shops were shut down.
A Radhika, district secretary of All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) said that their job was not over yet. “We have petitioned the district collector to close down many other shops that are located in prime areas near schools and temples. There is a Tasmac shop functioning at Kamarajapuram in Ganapthy, one at Udayampalayam, Karamadai and Sundarapuram which should also be shut down. We were told that these shops will also be shut down within a month. We are hopeful that action is taken as soon as possible,” she said.