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Scrutiny
  
No burgor & beor? (Hic!) Whott?!
Policy ban on alcohol and junk food is next on line; really Ramadoss?
25/12/2008

Some call it ‘addiction’, some tag it ‘fashion’ and some just find it their ‘habit’... Whatever be the case, Health Minister A. Ramadoss, after banning smoking in public places is now trying to do the same with junk food, alcohol and drugs!

Junk foods, the name itself condemns this category of product from healthy societies, but banning it may not appear feasible... However, there could be certain zones created, where the same could be disallowed, like in school and college premises (and even in the vicinity). These are institutions where young minds are educated about healthy living and therefore making unhealthy products inaccessible will help, to a large extent, for in the long run, it leads to diseases that are critical...

Alcohol is another agent, which deserves no social mercy. As per WHO, alcohol causes 1.8 million deaths a year, representing 3.2% of all deaths worldwide. A NSSO Survey reveals that 32% adults in India are currently alcohol users, and around 15% are alcoholics. However, there is a danger associated with banning of alcohol too! Yes, banning alcohol usage will obviously reduce drunk-driven accidents and eventually save many lives, but it will also lead to black marketing of alcohol and alcohol-related products. Take for instance Delhi where liquor smuggling increased by a massive 400% only during the last week of November 2008 (when liquor sale was banned for 3 days) or the case of the 1.8 lakh bottles of liquor ceased in Chandigarh (smuggled from UP), and you’d look no further for proof of alcohol black marketing becoming severe on the ban of its public sale. Worse when it comes to social health, it will encourage purchase of low quality and counterfeit drinks increasing death toll due to the same. We could perhaps start by keeping a closer check on restaurants and outlets, that they do not deal with under aged customers... Ramadoss’ intensions are good, but banning such products is not the one-stop solution, ‘stricter rules’ are...

By:- Sray Agarwal
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