VELLORE:While political parties have begun promising total prohibition in the State with assembly elections around the corner, family members of some regular tipplers have made a bizare appeal to the State government. The families have urged the government to establish emergency care centres in strategic locations across the State to provide first aid to tipplers when they get drunk and lie unconscious on the streets instead of weaning them away from alcohol.
“As soon as drunkards are spotted on the streets and informed, a dedicated ambulance vehicle run by the TASMAC should pick them up, provide first aid and admit them at the special care centres until they became normal,” said Rajeswari, a housemaid whose husband, an autorickshaw driver, is a habitual drunkard.
“I take care of two daughters with my earnings while my husband spends all his earnings on liquor,” she wailed, not perturbed by her pathetic life and more worried about the safety of her husband. He gets drunk and does not return home at nights. She has to hunt for him in streets.
“Sometimes I pick him up on the pathways, sometimes on the main road itself. He not only poses problem for others but also to himself. How long do I sustain this horrible life?” she said sobbing.
Rajeswari is not alone. There are hundreds of such housewives, expecting disaster to strike them through their drunkard husbands. Earlier the situation used to haunt women from lower income groups, but now all income groups have become victims of liquor.
As the number of TASMAC outlets keep increasing, despite the high price tag of alcohol, the number of drunkards in all age groups seen lying unconscious on the streets is also going up, said Sarasa, another housewife.
Social activists R Chandrasekaran, president of Udavum Ullangal, an NGO which is engaged in rescuing such drunkards in distress said that while the government had made it mandatory for every corporate to exercise their social responsibility to extend help to the community around, as a corporate sector TASMAC should volunteer to help its customers if not their families in agony.
While it would be ideal to close down all these liquor outlets as meekly demanded by some political parties, until such situation TASMAC should take care of its customers with a humane approach, he argued.
Being a profit making company, TASMAC should introduce ambulance services to rescue valued customers and lodge them at the emergency care centres which should be established by the government in all cities and towns. The company should also insist its customers keep details about their names and addresses on their person so that their families can be informed of their whereabouts, he pointed out.
Most important of all, TASMAC which sells liquor with a slogan Kudi Kudiyai Kedukkum (liquor destroys families) should also start de-addiction camps in order to rehabilitate alcoholics, he pointed out.