The Social Tragedy of Alcohol – A seminar report

Inauguration of a seminar The Social Tragedy of Alcohol

Organized by Gram Seva Sangh in collaboration with  Madya Nishedha Andolana Karnataka and Karnataka Gandhi Smaraka Nidhi

23 Feb’19 Sat. 10:30 am to 2 pm | Kasturba Hall, Gandhi Bhavana, Bengaluru

“Its wrong and immoral for a nation to supply intoxicating liquor to those who are addicted to drink” – M K Gandhi. Going on the same lines of the above quote the Gram Seva Sangh organised a open ended seminar on 23rd February 2019 , Tuesday in Gandhi Bhavan, Bangalore,  drawing inferences on how alcohol is a social tragedy. Unless you are living in the biblical times we know that alcohol is both a socio – cultural problem. Reports suggest that around 80% accidents , 85% domestic violence and also 37% of rapes in this ” Rama Rajya” happens due to alcoholism. And inspite of being informed citizens there exists some unanswered questions on ban of liquor. Considering the magnanimity of the issue there are loop holes as to where to start? By whom? Is restriction or prohibition the answer? To seek answers to these complex questions , rural women from around 20 districts of North Karnataka set out to a Padyatra, in ray of hope demanding the ban of liquor,  from Chitradurga to Bengaluru. What started with merely 700 women grew outrageously into around 5000 of them covering a distance of 200km in the 12 day Padyatra.

Glimpse of Padayatra by Suhasini Kaulagi

The attrocity and the cause of the issue spread rampently and the domino effect of which , was the Seminar. The Seminar consisted of participants of the Padyatra and celebrated key note speakers. A prayer song followed by paying heartful condolences to a lost soul (Renuka amma) in the Padyatra marked the beginning of the Seminar. The key note speakers belonged to diverse deaneries including Law, medicine, civil, theatrics and politics to name a few. From  Arundhati Nag , Prasanna , Rani Satish , Dr. Prathima Murthy , Ajay Kumar  singh to Victims of Alcoholism like Mrs. Mokshamma , Mrs Virupuna and Mrs Uma, all speakers had one point to say in commonality,  that alcohol destroys families before Liver. So in journey of seeking solutions to their existing problems they reached out to the government and inturn got a cold response. The government claims that the administration runs in the revenue earned by the selling of alcohol and hence the ban of the Same isn’t affordable. The hipocracy of this situation is evident as the socio cultural repercussions of alcoholism seeps down to a greater depth. According to the directive principles of the state policies , Article 47 of the Indian constitution guarantees a total prohibition of drugs excepting those used in medicine. Though constructionally guaranteed this situation seems “ideal”for a simple reason, demand is equal to supply.

The Social Tragedy of Alcohol Seminar Inaugural song by mamatha

Though the Padyatra seemed glorious in its endeavours, the brutal harassment and domestic violence faced by the women remains to be the dark side of the bitter truth. The politicians making this issue about vote bank politics reflects the stale nature of administration thus trivilising the noble cause of alcohol ban. As one of the women stated THIS is just the beginning. “The tears we shed are dry but fire in our soul ignites to greater notches, we will strive till alcohol is banned. All the guest joined the seminar decided to join the movement and strengthen further.

To watch few of the speeches of the seminar click Here

Glimpse of Padayatra by Suhasini Kaulagi

Gram Seva Sangh

Madya Nishedha Andolana Karnataka and Karnataka Gandhi Smaraka Nidhi

Contact : 9980043911 or 9008484880 | GramSevaSanghIndia@gmail.com