Wednesday, 6 August 2008


One of the women's groups main ways of instigating change is to demonstrate. Individually, they have litte influence, but when they demonstrate as a group, people take notice. Here, Gomathi, our main social worker (and much more besides!) leads a group demonstrating outside the police station against illegal arak dealers. Many poor people use arak to drown their sorrows and to gain respite through oblivion. However, arak leads to many problems, not least taking what little cash is available and which should have been spent on food or other essentials. A significant contributing factor in Valli's suicide was depression compounded by arak. Her friends are able to channel their grief and anger as a group, hopefully encouraging the police to take a firmer line with the criminals who make and sell arak.