Thiruvananthapuram | All sections of society must play a role and work together with the government on a step-by-step approach to create awareness and work towards decreasing the demand for alcohol, Kerala Excise Minister K Babu said today.
Alcohol consumption in Kerala has increased in revenue terms — with sales of Rs 94.79 crore during this Onam season — while there has been a quantitative decrease in terms of bottles with an 18 per cent decrease under this government, he noted after inaugurating the Consultative Workshop on Subodham Project in the state capital.
The workshop has been devised to put in place an action plan with the participation of religious and community leaders, medical practitioners and the media.
‘The state’s excise department works under many compulsions, particularly with neighbouring Tamil Nadu and Karnataka starting bars on Kerala’s borders,’ the minister noted.
The aim now is to take the opinions of various sections of society, said the Minister, who is also Chairman of Subodham launched on April 20 this year. ‘The excise department is going beyond the call of duty in spreading an awareness programme through Subodham,’ he noted.
‘On the other hand, the increase in the use of narcotics is disturbing but is a little discussed issue. We need to have more active campaign among youth in schools and colleges.’
K Muraleedharan, MLA, called for self-restraint in alcohol consumption, rather than outright prohibition, which ‘can work negatively’.
‘Revolutionary prohibition programmes have only created new avenues for alcohol sales and consumption,’ he recalled.
‘We have to understand the reality of the situation and find the apt solution for ‘Alcohol free Kerala’. Mr Babu also distributed prizes for the Subodham poster design competition.
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