“My husband would come home drunk after work and take his anger out on me. He would shout at our kids. Sometimes, his anger was expressed through physical abuse. My children would get scared of their father and keep away from him. It was very hard for us. So I decided to work and earn a living” Dola Thakur, a 32 year old housewife and houseworker told BE.
Alcohol doesn’t only affect an alcoholic person but people related to him. Dola Thakur is the wife of a person who used to drink every single day and would casually miss work the next day giving the reason that he was not feeling up to it. This problem affects all sections of society. There are believed to be 62.5 million people in India who at least occasionally drink alcohol. Over the recent years the amount of consumption of alcohol has increased tremendously causing havoc to society
Rise in alcohol related deaths and diseases
There has been a significant rise in the number of people dying because of alcohol abuse. Reports of the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) over the recent years have shown that there has been a rise of about one person dying every 96 minutes under the influence of alcohol. People are sold tainted liquor even from licensed shops which after consumption can cause intoxication, change in the nature or cause violence as well and finally can kill a person. People have claimed that alcohol reduces stress on their body and thus calms down their system finally providing them relief. Majorly affecting men the data showed as little as 5% of alcohol consumers are female.
Dr. Priti Bhombe, Director- fundraising and correspondence, Snehalaya, an NGO in Ahmednagar, said, “Alcohol addiction has been endemic in the major parts of India. On an average about 3.3 million deaths in India occur due to alcohol consumption or diseases due to alcohol consumption.”
Maharashtra followed by Madhya Pradesh has topped the list of deaths caused under the influence of alcohol. Dhananjay Kulkarni, a police spokesman from the state, said that the number of people who have died because of alcohol abuse now stands at 102 on a regular basis, which also includes women. Toxicity due to alcohol is a regular incidence in India, where people are even drinking bootleg liquor leading to major deaths.
Crimes against women and children
Dola also mentioned, “I have two children. I was very worried about who is going to pay for their education? How am I going to look after them now? But there was another constant fear of the abuse I would face if I did anything that would set my husband off.”
Although, Dola now works as a maid and has a degree of financial independence, she still fears getting beaten up by her husband. Not only economically or financially but physically, Dola and many like her are suffering because the bread earner of their family is an alcoholic.
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