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Alcohol consumption is steadily on the rise in India. Per capita consumption of alcohol  increased by 106.7 % over the 15 year period from 1970 to 1996 (Source: www.addictionindia.org) Though alcohol consumption and abuse is on the rise, two states in India, Gujarat and Mizoram have laws prohibiting the consumption. The way the law is implemented in both the states is different.

In Gujarat, ever since the Special Enforcement Department was disbanded, the police have been enforcing the law.In Mizoram, enforcement of the Mizoram Liquor Total Prohibition (MLTP) Act of 1995 lies with the specially-formed Excise and Narcotics Department, but it is the youth groups that handle most of the policing, mainly through NGOs.

A number of NGOs including the Young Mizo Association (YMA) has 700 state-wide offices to monitor alcohol activity round the clock.

“The help we receive from the society and the NGOs is invaluable. As a department, we do not have enough manpower, and these NGOs know their own areas much better than we do. So, they know the bootleggers, where they operate and where they brew liquor,” said Lalbiakmawia Khiangte, Commissioner, Excise and Narcotics Department, Government of Mizoram.

“When we nab offenders and threaten them, they know our limits as a government arm. But with the YMA or any other NGO, they get really scared,” Khiangte said.

Contrast this with Gujarat, where community policing is taken care by only few women groups.  Irrespective of the difference in implementation, these two states are  the only two ‘dry’ states in our country.  Read more here.

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