Swami Vivekananda once said “My faith is in the younger generation, the modern generation, out of them will come my workers. They will work out the whole problem, like lions. “Sadly, he wasn’t aware of the fact that the youth of today would resort to alcohol, tobacco and various other narcotic drugs, as the solutions to problems. Alcoholism and Smoking are alarmingly on the rise among the youth of India. The consumption and usage of Narcotic and psychoactive drugs is not far behind.
According to the alcohol laws of India, the legal drinking age is between 18-25 years, differing across various states .The legal age for smoking is 18 years. Narcotic drugs consumption is illegal, according to the Drug policy of India. The current scenario, however, moots the existence and effectiveness of these laws and policies that are merely on paper. India’s future, somehow, doesn’t seem healthy!
Youngsters are lured into such addictive habits by various sources of entertainment, like movies and television. Movies and television have always been a source of inspiration, for the good and the bad set of reasons. It is ironic how the warning message “ Smoking and drinking are injurious to health “ or “ Tobacco causes cancer. “ is displayed , before and during the screening of movies and telecasting shows on the television, just as how much sardonic the cautionary messages on a cigarette packet are. Peer pressure is one other factor that results in increased levels of these destructive habits. These days, it is considered too “uncool “to be a teetotaler. Westernization has got the better of us.
It is high time we wake up and smell the coffee. Awareness campaigns, clubs and initiatives in schools and colleges aimed at curbing and shunning such social evils that not only affect the health of an individual, but the development of a country too, need to be started. Children, right from a very tender age, need to be taught of the adverse effects of these unhealthy habits, and constantly be reminded to stay away from them. Enough rehabilitation, de-addiction centers need to be set up. If an individual needs help, he/she needs to be guided properly, and most of all, be taken seriously. Just the displaying of warning messages will not do, responsibility has to be taken up to cleanse the affected population, which means, bringing down the price of liquor and setting up of government run Retail and Wholesale alcohol vending shops in every nook and cranny of a city shouldn’t be on the mandate. Encouraging your friends and close ones to venture into such regrettable acts should be considered immoral and sinful. Remember, Karma gets back at people!
Fitness doesn’t just mean waking up early in the morning, plugging in your ear phones and going for a walk, it also means giving up those compelling habits that harm the balance of the body and the mind alike. Agreed that India’s population is on the rise and is skyrocketing, but increasing the death rate, which is the end result of such ruinous activities, is not a wise solution. We have an entire country to help develop, make the dreams and wishes of our forefathers a reality, make the country a better place to live in and build a very healthy environment for the generations to come. In short, we have a Nation to save and a patriotic saint, to prove right and make proud. Let’s get started!