Karnataka

Survey attributes peace in villages to absence of alcohol

A study by two NGOs has claimed that reduced consumption of alcohol in the month-long lockdown has had positive effects on village life, reducing quarrels in families and increasing peace and harmony in the village.

A study by two NGOs has claimed that reduced consumption of alcohol in the month-long lockdown has had positive effects on village life, reducing quarrels in families and increasing peace and harmony in the village.   | Photo Credit: T. Singaravelou

A study by two NGOs has claimed that reduced consumption of alcohol in the month-long lockdown has had positive effects on village life, reducing quarrels in families and increasing peace and harmony in the village.

Around 9,400 service representatives took part in the survey conducted by Sri Kshetra Dharmasthala Rural Development Project (SKDRDP) and NGO Jana Jagruti Vedike (JJV). These representatives are volunteers in rural areas and are mostly women. They assist the SKDRDP in implementing various projects at the grassroots level. As many as 60% of the respondents said it has had a positive effect on society in general. Around 67% said there were no other problems in the village, thanks to the lack of alcohol consumption. Around 41% said there was “an increase in happiness in the community” because of the absence of alcohol.

However, the survey also reports withdrawal symptoms among 43% of the addicts and that around 20% of the alcoholics showed signs of depression. Consumption of illicit liquor had been seen in around 12% of the drunkards.

Manjunath L.H., executive director, SKDRDP, in a video message, appealed for continuing the prohibition even after the lockdown.

“The lockdown has shown that alcohol is not an essential commodity. We have seen that drunkards have adjusted to the situation and stayed home quietly. The SKDRDP and JJV are spreading awareness about prohibition. I appeal to the community that we should all send a message to the State government to continue the prohibition beyond the lockdown,” he said.

‘All propaganda’

“We are hearing a lot of reports that the prohibition enforced by the lockdown has resulted in several persons committing suicide or beating up their wives and children. But that is all propaganda. This field level survey provides a very different perspective. It has clearly shown that liquor destroys lives and damages domestic harmony. Even if the temperance is forced and probably temporary, it has had positive effects,” said Sharada Gopal, convenor, Jagruta Mahila Vedike, an NGO working for the rights of rural women.

“It is one of the unintended positive developments of the lockdown,” said Prakash Bhat, director, Jnanavikasa Training Institute, SKDRDP, in Dharwad.

“The lockdown may in fact have some kind of a weaning effect on the addiction. We estimate that several may drop the habit while some may go back to it aggressively,” Dr. Bhat said.

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Printable version | Sep 28, 2020 2:28:16 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/survey-attributes-peace-in-villages-to-absence-of-alcohol/article31491856.ece

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