[Video] UP: "Even 10-Yr-Olds Here Drink Liquor" 120 Men Dead After Consuming Hooch, Families Share Their Ordeals
“Even 10-yr-old boys here drink illegal liquor, it is government only who can stop the sale of illegal liquor and no one can,” a woman of Saharanpur district of Uttar Pradesh said when asked about the recent hooch tragedy which took lives of 120 men in Uttar Pradesh & Uttarakhand. Two states of India, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh since February 7 have seen deaths of over 120 men after consuming illegal liquor. The men living in several villages of Haridwar and adjoining Saharanpur district died after consuming spurious alcohol. ChalChitra Abhiyan went to Saharanpur district on February 9 and reported the ordeals of the victims’ family.
Victims’ family are left to mourn
The report claims that the poisonous alcohol that killed 120 people were made of urea, acid, and other harmful chemicals. Most of the people who died were poor and belonged to the Dalit community. Sonu Kumar was one of the victims who died after consuming the poisonous liquor. Narrating the incidences that happened on the day, Sonu’s mother said that he returned home drunk and even had dinner. The next day the entire family had to take their daughter-in-law to see a doctor. When the family returned in the evening, they found Sonu dead. His mother further said that there is no one to look after us and their future is uncertain. Surendra, another man from the village who used to chop trees on a contractual basis died, after consuming the alcohol. His wife said that on that very day of the tragedy he returned home, but was drunk. He was so drunk that he did not even had dinner and went to bed. On the next day when she woke up, she found him dead.
Narendra Chauhan’s wife while contemplating on what happened to his husband said that this should not happen to her worst enemies. She said that her husband returned home along with some guests, as there was a marriage ceremony happening. She further said that women hardly know about the whereabouts of their husbands. She also mentioned that she had four kids and there is no one to earn in their family.
One among them said that just after consuming the alcohol, Narendra was unable to see anything and was screaming because of a major headache. Another said that they demand to shut alcohol shops which sell poisonous alcohol in the area.
Government, police & bureaucrats are responsible
One of the villagers said that the police in the area know about the incident and are not taking actions because they receive money as bribes from the shop on monthly basis. Another villager said that the administration knows that the alcohol shop doesn’t have any license for selling alcohol but still they didn’t shut it down. He further questioned that how can a poor person know what is being sold is poisonous alcohol.
Pointing to a common problem faced by the villagers, women said that the men here spend more money on alcohol than what they earn. They suggested that alcohol should be banned entirely. This demand of ban is not new and is not only from rural UP.
Rural India problems differ from Urban India and alcohol is destroying lives
Even in Karnataka, around 2000 women from rural areas of Karnataka who are fed up of ordeals they face due to alcohol, marched to Vidhana Soudha on January 30 demanding a state-wide liquor ban.
Reportedly, the march was held under the banner ‘Beer Beda Neer Beku’ led by the Madyapana Nishedha Andolana and included members from various organisations like Grameena Kooli Karmika Sanghatane, Kissan Sanghatane, Swaraj India, Swaraj Abhiyan among others.
The march was started in the Chitradurga district of the state on January 19. It covered more than 200 km and reached Bengaluru in just ten days. According to The News Minute, the march stopped in as many as nine villages where they formally interacted with the villagers to make them aware of the dangers of alcohol use. The march has women from as many as 23 districts of the state and every day, the women covered about 20 kilometres.
A survey conducted by All Indian Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) that covered all states and Union Territories has shed light on the serious drug and alcohol abuse in the country, reported The Times Of India. The data from the “Magnitude of Substance Abuse in India” conducted by National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre (NDDTC) under the AIIMS, Delhi revealed that nearly 5.7 crore persons are (10-75 year old) are considered to be alcohol addicts are said to be in need of urgent medical intervention. People staying the rural areas due to financial constraint prefer having alcohol at a cheaper rate. This factor has significantly increased the production of the country made alcohol. According to the report, the country made alcohol consists of 30% of the total alcohol consumption.
The Logical Indian take
120 lives were lost in a tragedy and there doesn’t seem any attention from either public or politicians. These deaths should matter and the government should be in action to stop all the illegal liquor selling shops across the Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh state. Now, the reports are coming that those who survived the tragedy have gone blind. In Haridwar district alone, 43 people have died and dozens have lost eyesight. This incident not only took lives of 120 men but also have brought tragedy to the family of the hooch tragedy victims who were dependent on men for financial support.