Panaji, Nov 29 (IANS) Women's organisations Thursday protested serving of liquor within the premises of a medical college, the main venue of the 38th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) here, saying it made Goa look like a 'drunkard's paradise'.
'Serving liquor at the IFFI projects Goa in a bad light. It looks as if it is a drunkard's paradise,' Auda Vigas, from women's unity group Ballanchos Ekvott told IANS.
The old Goa Medical College (GMC) has been converted into the main IFFI venue, with Kingfisher as the sponsor of the event.
'This is the first Asian medical college. It is a heritage building and people are disgracing it by serving liquor. Moreover, there is a law that prohibits serving of liquor within 100 metres of educational institutions or religious places,' said Sabina Martins, a member of women's voice group Ballanchos Aad.
Extra security personnel were called to stand guard outside the gate after the women threatened to disrupt the festival.
'If the organisers don't have the money to organise the festival then why organise the function at all?' asked Vigas.
'A film fest is a place where people learn about cinema, not a place to promote liquor,' added Martins.
The protesters claim that they had asked the excise department to cancel the license to serve liquor within the premises of the college. However, they were shocked to see the Kingfisher stalls on the day of the launch.
'When we enquired from the excise department, they said they had not issued the licences but the entertainment society of Goa has given permission to serve liquor within the complex,' added Martin.
'Goa is promoted as a place for free wine and women, which is absolutely wrong. When our women go outside the state they face problems because of this kind of negative publicity,' she said.