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Over 15% men consume alcohol in dry Bihar, says National Family Health Survey report

Photo used for representation purpose only.   | Photo Credit: K. Ramesh Babu

The latest National Family Health Survey-5 (NFHS-5) report for 2019-20 which was released on Saturday (December 12) has revealed that still 15.5% men above 15 years of age consume alcohol in dry Bihar. The report also said that nearly 77% women in Bihar have their own bank account and over 51% of them use mobile phones.

The report was conducted from July 9, 2019 to February 2, 2020 and information was gathered from 35, 834 households, 42, 483 women and 4, 897 men.

In Bihar, the stringent Prohibition and Excise Act was enforced in April 2016 by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar-led NDA government with a provision of a minimum 10 years of jail term for violators of the law. So far, over 2 lakh people, mostly from poor marginalised class of society have been arrested under the new law and over 30 lakh litres of alcohol has been confiscated in the State.

In November 2019, the Patna High Court pulled up the State government for clogging the courts with over two lakh cases related to the liquor ban. As many as 52 police officials in the State have been facing inquiries under the new law while, 36 of them have either been suspended or facing departmental and administrative inquiries.

However, the latest NFHS-5 report said 15.5% people over 15 years of age in the State consumed alcohol while only 0.4% women did the same. Similarly, 48.8% men of similar age bracket use tobacco while, only 5.0% women consume it.

“It’s very interesting that in a dry State where stringent prohibition law is enforced for the last four years 15.5% men consume alcohol. It must be taken as a blot on the governance here,” political commentator Ajay Kumar told The Hindu.

“Now, it will also be very interesting to see what Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has to say on it as from where these 15.5% men have been getting liquor bottles,” added Mr. Ajay Kumar.

The NFHS-5 report further said that in Bihar 51.4 % women used their own mobile phones — 61.8% in urban areas and 49.3% in rural areas. In 2015-16, only 40.9% women were using mobile phones.

Similarly, as many as 76.7% women had their own bank account which was only 26.4% in 2015-16.

However, the sex ratio of girl child has gone down from 934 (per 1,000 males) in 2015-16 to 908 in 2019-20. But the sex ratio of total female population per 1,000 males has gone up from 1, 062 to 1, 090 in the State, said the report.

In Bihar 20.6% women used internet in 2019-20 while, 43.6% men used it and the literacy rate of women has gone to 57.8% while, for men the figure is 78.5%, said the fact sheet of the report.

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Printable version | Mar 4, 2021 8:28:41 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/over-15-men-consume-alcohol-in-dry-bihar-says-national-family-health-survey-report/article33319555.ece

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