Wednesday, 21 December 2016

FB Discussions - The Curse of Drink in Villages

I know the pathetic schooling they go thro', the dreams that are sold to them, the unemployment that they face, the dashed dreams - and I need to place the blame at the feet of the larger society, and me and you. For failing them. As this village is a decent, and cohesive place, they have not become criminals. I can imagine similar children elsewhere turning to crime also ...
The Rajya Sabha has approved the reduction of the age of juveniles to 16. This is complete shit. This will come back to bite many blameless children. Truly a step back into the dark ages. Every one of you, who supported the media hysteria and drove this country to this regressive step, if you have children who are young and who are, or will be teenagers, this could be the kiss of death for them. Remember that.
But of course, what do you care? Your children study in elite schools, they are not living in that India where kids could be routinely picked up and incarcerated in jail.
Zakeena Seethi What can be done to reduce alcohol menace? Will banning the sales have an effect?

Aparna Krishnan Yes, to a definite extent. When prohibition was there in AP, drinking reduced considerably. Diehards somehow brewed and had, but now it is all pervasive and all the youth drink.

Zakeena Seethi If women dont drink inspite of all the hardships, men also can be taught to forgo drinks...cant they?

Narayana Sarma I don't know Aparna Krishnan Zakeena Seethi drinking is so culture dependent also... Liquor shops in our place open at 6AM- and get women customers, especially those of wandering tribes, during those early hours.  But yes, they are definitely insignificant numerically though men here tend to use them as counter examples during discussions.

Suraj Kumar Without your headache going away, can i ask you to stop using pain killers?

Suraj Kumar there will still be headaches... and indeed, there are alternatives - from community to music/social-entertainment to service. But this will require loving care for that person in changing him/her slowly. Can't be "scaled" as the modern day people are often misled to think. 
Aparna Krishnan I have decided that women are simply a superior species. A mother will direct the last rupee to her hungry child. She will never drink it away ! Many men are responsible, but some are not.

Aparna Krishnan Narayana Sarma, what is your feel on prohibition in AP ? The impact in that period, I mean.

Narayana Sarma In total agreement with you. During prohibition revenues reduced, so as drinking. Tipplers bought smuggled stuff, while several labourers switched vocations- became traffickers carrying basket loads of bottles from nearby Karnataka; many 'fell' by design into the hands of excise chaps, bribed them, came out and continued in the same lucrative vocation till prohibition was finally lifted. But at least students of ninth and tenth classes did not drink then.

Aparna Krishnan Money ?

Narayana Sarma beg borrow steal. Some children go to work in holidays. Some young Auto drivers happily sponsor younger friends. Some others pester their mothers and get pocket money. Sad.

Narayana Sarma And most parents pretend they have no inkling of any of this till their wards get entangled in one or the other petty crime.

Aparna Krishnan T2 NGO stance ?

Narayana Sarma They drink. They were openly against prohibition. Had secret parties during that period. Idea is "Drink but dont become a drunkard". Also "Dont Drink and Drive". "Don't Drink in public places"

Aparna Krishnan I wonder if you remember this from 20 years ago. When you were also in the village. Had gone from the village with Nagesh to Vellore, to H's house. That evening as we were walking past H's school the chowkidar was drunk. H gave his a slap that sent him sprawling. I was shocked. There was more in store. When he reached home H poured himself and K a drink. I was wordless at his repsonse to drunkenness some 10 minutes back, and then this. See my face, he explained, "One should be able to hold the drink !". I just needed to get away from there then and there back to the village. There is a certian living in contradiction and explaining it away that goes beyond one's ability to take. Some manage to live in that space. 
Subha Bharadwaj Yes availability will reduce and if our law keepers are good, a good fear will stop kids from drinking and many a young men who drink because it's easy to get. On the other hand. Illegal black market and spurious liqueur arrive in the market. 
Rahul Banerjee Raghunandan is correct putting teenagers in jail with hardened criminals is frightening.

Sridhar Lakshmanan Sports is a good way to wean them away. The govt funds lot of Nehru yuva Kendras, if there is local initiative this works amazingly to prevent youth getting caught

Aparna Krishnan Yes, thats a good idea. Where have you seen these initiatives work well ?

Aparna Krishnan But has drink spiked up in the hills also of late ?

Sridhar Lakshmanan people in hills drink, hooch is common, in fact most conocotions are made in remote hills, i have seen entire hamlets drunk unable to overcome addiction, worst you will see every household brewing to supply to towns and vllages down hill, so much wehn we went they thought we were inspectors who have come to seize teh arrack and arrest them and tehy all ran away and hid leaving the infirm and children in the hamlet and came back only when they were certain we were not police, lot of interesting stories around thi
Hema Jain I think banning can only backfire. This is the symptom of a society that has failed. So the problem has to be addressed at a societal level.

Aparna Krishnan it has helped us as i explained above. i look for any gain i can get. i cannot be getting my village children into drink thro' such easy availability. yes, it needs education. and as Sridhar Lakshmanan says, games.

T.R. Shashwath I disagree with you about outright bans (though specific restrictions can work), but I do agree with many of the goals.

Here, I think you need to think more deeply about education - not the rote learning to produce clerks that we've reduced it to, nor simply traditional knowledge and informal systems (which you've been talking a lot about), but something else - different, but a synthesis of many systems.

Most importantly, they need good role models in teachers and leaders which from what you say, they really don't have.

Aparna Krishnan minds have to change. education is essential. and sports. and every other meaningful intervention. but in the here and now i need my children saved. andalso the women. and would demand prohibition.

Chitra Sharan Sports and involvement in every aspect right from domestic ones to large societal activities like cleaning the lake etc which is done as a community activity

Raj Jog Singh Aparna on a lighter note what about the fate of a boy who gets marries to a drunkyard girl... 

Aparna Krishnan I can try drinking, and report on the home scenario ... 

Raj Jog Singh Actually do not know how you perceive the problem as but my experience is that this is not a problem in isolation but a nexus between money lenders, liquor mafia wherein the happless villagers suffer... Have seen enough of this nexus in industrial clusters & townships more so the remote ones in tribal areas...

Raj Jog Singh The moneylender will dole out money at heavy interest & ensure that a substantial amount of it goes into liquor so that the debt trap continues... This is a bane in rural areas with families being destroyed outright...  

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