Alcohol: A Tonic for Domestic Ruin
Alcohol consumption is still a very sensitive topic in the country today. OECD’s new flagship report in early May this year examined the health and economic effects of harmful alcohol use, and ranked it the fifth most cause of death and disability in the world. It leads to 3.3 million deaths each year around the world. The World Health Organisation (WHO) states that about 30% of Indians consume alcohol and 50% of them fall in the category of hazardous drinking. Alcohol drinking also poses serious health risks. They lead to cancers of the mouth, liver and oesophagus. The effects escalate and become lethal if the heavy drinker is also a chain smoker. The reports and figures call for immediate action and sincere efforts from the government to enforce strict control of alcohol consumption in the country. The toxic effects of alcohol are barely advertised as done for cigarette smoking.
Heavy drinking leads to or is generally associated with a weaker likelihood of finding a long lasting job. This in turn leads to lower wage levels and employment productivity. Heavy drinkers are a nuisance to the society and their families. Due to economic imbalance and the failure to find a good job, the wife or the children often bear the brunt for no mistake of theirs. The domestic lives of the people are completely disrupted and they suffer due to alcohol addicts in the family.
The condition in the state of Tamil Nadu is also the same. Alcohol is rapidly becoming the hot topic and also an election issue. The crusade against liquor was spearheaded by the PMK long before it was an election issue. Now there are demonstrations and rallies against the ill effects of alcohol across the state due to the steps taken by Dr.Anbumani during his tenure as Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare during 2004 -2009. The present Tamil Nadu government is keen on keeping its TASMAC shops open as they bring in a massive chunk of revenue to the state. This nearly adds up to 17% of the total revenue of the state. No other state in the country is profited by such a huge revenue from alcohol marketing. Although the income is beneficial, we need to look at the means of the income. It is a quality of a righteous human to earn money in the right way and not by means that lead to societal damage. The same is applicable for the government which is responsible to set an example and care about the welfare of the people of its State. During a recent rally in the city against liquor consumption, a woman named Nirmala, recounted how alcohol destroyed her family and her husband’s addiction led to his suicide. This is not just one case. There are hundreds, in fact, thousands of people that are facing the same fate as Nirmala.
With the Assembly elections coming up in 2016, many political parties who may seem to support alcohol ban are silently against banning alcohol. Former Union Health Minister and the Chief Ministerial candidate of the PMK, Dr.Anbumani Ramadoss is a pro when it comes to crusading against liquor in the State and across the country. He has raised concerns against TN’s liquor consumption and the government not taking appropriate measures. “Tamil Nadu is the only state in India that sells liquor for its survival. It is shameful. They don’t just sell liquor. They enforce it,” he said. He and his party loyalists have been rallying for the complete ban on liquor. He tweeted, “All other Governments in the country, their total revenue through alcohol is 2-3%. But here it is 35%.” In July, the video of a four-year-old child went viral when he was forced to drink liquor by elders. The PMK party, now, has intensified its agitation against the ban on selling liquor in the state for the good of the people. People are optimistic about the efforts that the party is putting in.
From the Office of Dr.Anbumani