Vijayawada: Several human rights organizations and NGOs united at MB Bhavan in the city for a meeting today, to debate on the need for curbing the menace of alcoholism in the state. In the meeting, which was organized by Jana Chaitanya Vedika, several speakers and representatives from NGOs severely criticized the state government for encouraging consumption of alcohol. The government is treating the liquor sales as a means of revenue, ignoring the health of the poor, they said.

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No action is being initiated against the unchecked growth of belt shops across towns and villages, they alleged. Rampant sale of alcohol is destroying the financial status of lakhs of families, they said. The NGOs said that there is a serious need for strict action in this matter.

Jana Chaitanya Vedika President V. Lakshman Reddy, former MLC Lakshman Rao, former MLA Vellampalli Srinivas, Congress leader Tulasi Reddy, AP Women's Association Secretary Durga Bhavani and Corporator Avuthu Shailaja participated in the meeting.