[VIDEO] Meet the Baloch women who teamed up and burned down drug dens in Kutch district
These fierce women burned down their village's drug dens situated in the Kutch district.
The United Nations have reported that Balochistan’s border districts are part of an international route for drug trafficking to Afghanistan. In the Kutch district, drugs are readily available and sold at low prices. Therefore, many people in the region are victims of drug abuse. The Deputy Commissioner Major (R), Muhammad Ilyas, said:
Baleda is a remote area where drug routes operate under the influence of local people.
Recently, women in Baleda, Balochistan, teamed up to crack down on drug abuse. These fierce women burned down their village’s drug dens situated in the Kutch district.
Why did the women take matters into their own hands?
BBC Urdu reported that the group of women started an anti-drug campaign after facing severe personal losses due to the rampant drug abuse.
As soon as the women took a stand against the drugs, the government and many individual organizations joined the mission. Together they cleaned up Baleda.
Gul Bibi, one of these brave Balochi women, spoke to BBC News and said:
Our maternal instincts kicked in, and we set out to protect our loved ones.
Talking about how the initiative started, Gul Bibi said:
One day a woman asked me how long drugs would destroy our fathers, husbands, sons, and mothers, sisters, daughters, and wives would continue to be oppressed? I asked what we could do? The women said we could go out and set fire to these drug dens.
Razia Bibi, another Balochi anti-drug campaigner, stated:
I remember very well that when we women went out, the area’s men were watching in amazement. Some tried to stop our tactics, but that did no good. Indeed, women don’t take the lead in their society, but they come out fiercely protective when harm comes to their loved ones.
A political figure, Haji Kifayatullah, joined the anti-drug cause after the first drug den was set on fire. He told BBC:
Spatial constraints prevent women from taking initiatives like these. Baleda is not a big area. Everyone knows each other and the people involved in the drug trade. We went to their houses in the form of a jirga and asked them to leave the business. Many voluntarily quit the industry, while others were prevented from doing so by their housewives.
Haji Kifayatullah now leads young anti-drug campaigners. He said:
Since the start of these women’s anti-drug campaign, anyone found dealing drugs in the area is prosecuted according to tribal traditions. I have set up a rehabilitation center in the area. Some addicts are also being sent to Quetta and Karachi for treatment.
Mir Fateh Mohammad Baledi said:
Our access was limited in some places, but when the locals joined us, jirgas were held there. After the jirga, responsibilities were given to law enforcement agencies, which closed more drug dens. We have decided to take advantage of this opportunity. The Levies Force is being deployed where needed, and the most stringent measures have been taken to cut off the drug supply line.
All of these people are demanding an end to international drug trafficking routes through Balochistan.
– Story originally published in BBC News Urdu.
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