05/11/2015, 00.00
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Dinajpur, Caritas battles alcoholism among tribal

by Sumon Corraya
A project launched by the Catholic organization wants to raise awareness about the risks of alcohol abuse and limit the damage within families. Hundreds of women adhere to "free our societies from this danger that transforms a happy home into a living hell."

Dhaka (AsiaNews) - The increase in the rate of alcoholism among the tribes of Bangladesh "transforms families into a living hell. We want a society free from this danger, which has become a real enemy for our homes”.  This is the appeal launched by hundreds of women in the area of ​​Dinajpur, who today thanked Caritas for the program launched against alcohol dependence. An addiction "worsened in recent months, since local wine production has become industrial triggering  a series of crimes and corruption".

The program is called "Adivasis Nari Jagoran Sango" and brings together hundreds of women from 11 villages in the area. The national press and civil society have supported the Catholic organization’s project, praising it for the rapid commitment to the stability of rural areas. This is characterized by a high percentage of working women, compared to working men.

Taramon Karkata explains: "Men do not work and do not earn, but ruin our lives and steal our wages to spend them on wine. In the worst cases we have seen husbands who sell land, the only source of livelihood of the family, to continue drinking. It has become a real plague. "

The change of pace comes from the decision to transform wine production from artisan to industrial. The companies of the area of ​​Dinajpur, say activists, corrupt cops to avoid problems with public security and flood the market with cut price alcohol to entice men to drink. The local police chief, Abu Tarek, defends himself: "If we receive written complaints, then we will intervene".

Shushila Kujer, a tribal woman, told AsiaNews: "I left my house and I went back to my father, because after drinking my husband beat me. My family was happy, and now has become a kind of living hell. We want a society free from alcoholism, and that's why we are fighting against industrial production".

Addiction remains one of the plagues of Bangladesh, where every year there are thousands of victims of smoking, alcohol and drugs. One of the officials Caritas following the project concludes: "We work for the development of local communities. To achieve this growth, we try to understand what are the problems and try to solve them together. Alcoholism is currently one of the worst".


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