Women alcoholics on the rise in Delhi, and across India
States like Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh have seen a rise in women drinkers. In some of these states, the proportion is higher than that of Delhi.
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According to members of Shakti, the Delhi group has the highest number of women as compared to similar groups of other states.(File Photo)
When a sexagenarian wobbled up to the podium at the Frank Anthony Public School in Lajpat Nagar on Saturday, clad in a brown saree, a beige button-down cardigan and sporting a bindi, like every other Indian grandmother you meet in India, the words out of her mouth seemed misplaced.
“I am Rukmini*, and I am an alcoholic”.
Rukmini, who has been sober since May 1995, is one of the 30-35 women who are part of the all female Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) group, Shakti, in Delhi, and played a major role setting up the group.
According to members of Shakti, the Delhi group has the highest number of women as compared to similar groups of other states. This raises the question: have the number of women consuming alcohol in the national capital increased?
Female drinkers in Delhi
According to the National Family Health Survey (NFHS), in the decade between 2005-2006 and 2015-2016, the percentage of men and women who consumed alcohol in India and the percentage of the male population in Delhi who consumed alcohol has reduced. However, the percentage of women in Delhi who consumed alcohol has gone up from 0.4% of the female population in 2005-2006, to 0.7% in 2015-2016.
Other states like Chandigarh, Goa, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh have also seen a rise in women drinkers, and in some of these states the proportion is higher than that of Delhi.
So what brings out more women in Delhi to seek help? Is it because it is easier to get it in Delhi than in other states? And are these women from all walks of life?
- Have you had trouble quitting drinking, even though you have planned to do so?
- Have people around you raised concerns about your drinking habits?
- Do you drink re gularly, on an almost daily basis?
- Do you start your day with a drink, or start shaking if you don’t?
- Have you developed a tolerance for liquor, and find yourself needing more alcohol to get drunk?
- Has your drinking gotten you into trouble? Either with the law, at work, your friends, your relationships, or family?
- Have you found yourself drinking more than you had initially planned to, because you find it hard to stop once you have started?
- Have you skipped work or school because of drinking?
- Do you drink until you blackout?
- Have you felt the need to quit drinking, because you feel that your life would be better?