A few scenes from Tamil film Sindhubhairavi, in which an eminent singer nearly perishes to alcohol, set the tone for the meeting. The next item was a skit on how a worker nearly died and ran his family life aground because of his alcoholism. Both these struck a chord with the audience that mainly constituted conservancy workers of the Coimbatore Corporation.
The meeting got up to felicitate the first batch of eight workers who had undergone de-addiction at a Corporation health centre extracted a promise from them and those in the audience that the scenes in the skit and the film would never happen in their life.
Mayor R. Venkatachalam and Corporation Commissioner Anshul Mishra gave away identity cards for the eight workers who said they had not taken alcohol for the last 15 days since leaving the de-addiction centre. The wives of the workers said they had been putting up with the latter’s alcoholism and its adverse impact on their families for many years.
Coordinator of Initiatives for Change Centre for Governance co-ordinator S. Bhaskar said the card contained the details of the de-addiction undergone. They would suffer severe health problems if they consumed alcohol again. If they did consume and showed symptoms of trouble, people could know of their earlier treatment from the identity card and rush the workers to hospitals. The centre was working with the Corporation in the de-addiction programme.
The Mayor said it was heartening to note that the workers were eager to give up alcohol. The Commissioner said medical camps for the workers revealed that 141 workers were in dire need of de-addiction. After all these went through this process, the de-addiction centre would be open to the general public also.
“Do not waste your salary on alcohol. Save it for the benefit of your family and the future of your children. This is why we are putting you through the de-addiction process,” he told the workers.
Deputy Mayor N. Karthik also called upon the workers to make use of the de-addiction scheme.