Activists slam govt for not prohibiting liqour

Post the demise of Jayalalithaa, the state had also been witnessing a series of anti liquor protests particularly by women and students.

Chennai: Lawyers and rights activists in Tamil Nadu are unhappy with the state government as it has failed to prohibit liquor and address the growing menace of alcoholism. Activists warn that more liquor related deaths and broken families are awaiting to happen with the state keen on running the Tasmac liquor outlets. Post the demise of Jayalalithaa, the state had also been witnessing a series of anti liquor protests particularly by women and students.

Last year, a seven-year old A. Akash from Padur village, Kancheepuram district staged a protest demanding the State to close a Tasmac liquor outlet in his village and his family members are now facing police cases. Attired in his school uniform, the boy staged road roko and blocked the traffic highlighting the pressing issue. The tiny agitator opposed the liquor shop being shifted into residential areas due to the Supreme Court’s ban on liquor outlets along the state and national highways.

Another incident was the death of anti liquor crusader Sasiperumal who collapsed with cardiac arrest while staging a protest seeking total prohibition in Kanyakumari in 2015. Another law college student Nandhini had also been staging demonstration against sale of alcohol in the state for years. Nandhini along with her father Anandan are also facing legal cases for staging protests against liquor.

According to Sudha Ramalingam, senior lawyer at Madras High court and human rights activist, it is pathetic to note that Dinesh committed suicide demanding his father to stop drinking alcohol. Suicide is not an answer to any problem.

She said the state is abdicating its responsibility towards its citizens. Constitution itself speaks about prohibition. Article 47 of the Constitution, a Directive Principles of State Policy, directs the state to raise the level of nutrition and the standard of living and to improve public health as among its primary duties and, in particular. As per the directive, the state shall endeavour to bring about prohibition of intoxicating drinks and drugs, which are injurious to health.
She said the state government should strive to bring prohibition. However, violating the Constitution, the government itself selling liquor to the people causing serious harm to the people and to the society. The State has no effective programme to combat alcoholism and undertake rehabilitation programmes.

Proper awareness programmes also not conducted in the state. Meanwhile, students and children are facing abuses from alcoholic father everyday. They pushed to the extreme step.

Close down wine shops, says VCK

Expressing shock over the suicide of the teenager Dinesh byhanging from a rail overbridge in Tirunelveli on Tuesday, upset over his father’s addiction to
alcohol, VCK chief Thol Thirumavalavan has called upon the State government to “come forward atleast now respecting his sacrifice and close down all the Tasmac shops.”

Referring to the emotional suicide note left by the student, a medical aspirant, Mr. Thirumavalavan said the letter appealing to his father to give up alcoholism “brings tears to the eyes.” “It shows that Dinesh Kumar, depressed that he lost his mother at a tender age and his father to alcohol addiction, felt that there was no one to take care of him and his brother,” he said.

“The student’s appeal to the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister asking him to shut down TASMAC shops across the State and claiming that if this
did not happen, ‘his spirit will come back to do it’ reveals the extent he was afflicted and also gives one the feeling that this is a kind of atrocity by the
government against him,” the VCK leader claimed.“Atleast now the government should come forward respecting his sacrifice and close
all the TASMAC shops,” Mr. Thirumavalavan appealed.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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