Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Alcohol Abuse: Military is top liquor guzzler

As reported by Ellavya Atray in on 07 February 2009: DNA: India
New Delhi: If an adult Indian, on average, consumes a trickle of alcohol in a year, an Indian Jawan guzzles a bucketful.

The military has emerged as the single most organised guzzler of liquor in the country, with an annual consumption of nine litres per head, at least a litre more than the Malayalees, India's biggest alcohol-consuming community.

Though alcohol consumption is still not well documented in the country, the average per capita consumption (for population aged 15 and above) is a little less than a litre, according to World Health Organisation figures.

Reply to a detailed questionnaire on the sale of liquor in military canteens, filed by DNA under the Right To Information (RTI) Act, shows that our soldiers consumed a staggering 1.1 crore bottles of hard liquor -- rum, vodka, whiskey, and brandy -- in 2007, not to mention 1.2 million bottles of beer and sundry wines.

No wonder, then, the recent cut in liquor quota sold in military canteens dampened the spirits of the men and women in uniform.

Rum continues to be the most preferred choice, though it's gradually losing the kick. Vodka sales, on the other hand, have seen a threefold rise in the last four years.

"Many army wives drink, and they prefer vodka," said an officer who looks after a few canteens. "It is light compared to whisky and rum."

Surprisingly, Old Monk, the old favourite of beginners and veterans alike, is not the most sold rum. That crown goes to the military's own Contessa.
Military is top liquor guzzler

Alcohol and Drug Abuse
The role of unit command is to provide well-trained, physically fit and mentally alert Jawans and Officers who can successfully accomplish their assigned duty. Jawans who abuse alcohol and drugs will negatively impact on the successful attainment of this objective. Specifically abusers effect morale, cohesion, performance and unit readiness. Their actions could result in serious injury to civilians, other members and or to themselves. Therefore alcohol and drug abuse should not be tolerated by Unit/ formation Commanders.

Jawans and Officers should not misuse/ consume alcohol under the following conditions:
1. If the member is under the age of 21.
2. Within 12 hours of reporting for duty or while on duty.
3. While in uniform.
4. When the mission requirements dictate.
5. Within 12 hours of operating a motor vehicle or while operating a motor vehicle.
6. When restricted by the commander

Liquor should not used for trading, services or bartering especially with civilians, servants and vendors for favours or used for bribing in lieu of cash. Selling liquor in the civil market for monetary gains is a punishable crime. (There is rampant misuse of liquor in the Military Training Institutions starting from premier Staff College to the lesser ones).

Substance abuse or excessive drinking is considered unbecoming conduct. Members who violate this policy should be subjected to strict disciplinary action under the Army Act. Recent cases as reported by media prove that drunken Officers and Jawans break the rule of the land by committing civil crimes.

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