Gujarat: The Illicit Alcohol Hub

Posted on July 13, 2009 in Society

Anshul Tewari

The state of Gujarat is facing a severe crisis as over 100 people have died from drinking bootleg alcohol in the state. Alcohol, which is banned in Gujarat is being sold illegally and the sale of this drug is taking many lives. Alcohol substance is brewed illegally and deaths from drinking it are common, as brewers often add chemicals and pesticides in order to strengthen the drink. In 2008, approximately 150 people died after drinking contaminated alcohol in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

The sale of this poisonous alcohol is a multi-crore business in the state and it is alleged that officials from the top to the bottom level, are all earning heafty amounts from this.

The death toll has risen to 112 in a matter of days. “The [intensive care unit] is full of these patients and there are about 60 outside in various wards,” an intern at one hospital told the Times of India newspaper.

“The last time the state witnessed a liquor tragedy of this scale was in 1989, when 132 people were killed in a matter of days,” he added.

A story in The Guardian reads, “As the death toll rises, so has public anger. Amid accusations that police abetted in bootlegging, hundreds of protesters attacked buses with sticks, threw stones at police and burned effigies of Modi, already a deeply divisive figure because of his hardline Hinduism. Members of a women’s rights group raided a bootlegging shop on Thursday, destroyed the alcohol stocks and handed the owner over to police.

“If the police don’t take action we will move in,” said Meena Patel, a member of the group, known as Sakhi Mandal.”

Under public pressure, the police have busted a few illegal alcohol outlets and arrested 800 people.

Youth Ki Awaaz: This incident is a shame for not only the state, but also for the country. The birth place of Mahatama Gandhi, where alcohol is banned, and India’s only dry state, is not being able to live up to its expectations. Those who claim that Gujarat is growing at a fast pace fail to give an explanation for all this.

Well, alcohol is one of the deadliest drugs. It has been proven that alcohol is leading to more and more corruption in the country. People are dying, women are being raped, illicit trafficking and poisoning of alcohol is going on, and what not? So what can be done? Put a complete ban on alcohol? NO. Alcohol is so deep rooted in India that it cannot be suddenly banned. In fact, a sudden ban will lead to more and more corruption and crime, thus what needs to be done is spread awareness. Tell the truth about alcohol. Reach out to people before alcohol reaches them.

This is not the only solution but one of the many solutions. (Suggestions invited through comments.)

To have full info about alcohol, visit http://www.drugabuse.youthkiawaaz.com/or click here.

image source: http://www.chinadaily.com

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