Query: Experiences of effective community response to the issue of alcohol

Dear All,

I am working with several communities in India. One issue which seems to affect the communities is excessive consumption of alcohol. This has a detrimental effect not only on their health but also social and economic aspects of their lives.

I would like to learn from experiences of communities who have been effectively able to deal with this issue and reduce alcohol consumption. What has worked? What were the results?

Thanks and regards,

Rituu

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1. “Happiness calendars” - This monitors how happiness, anger and sadness of one member impacted on others in a family leading to the self-realization (as opposed to someone else pointing out the fact, which leads to defensive behavior) of the bad impact one's own alcohol use and violent behavior have on other family members. This prompted change within one's self

2.Community groups started to challenge (during their daily conversations, gossip and chit chat) their perceptions about roles of men and women in households, unfair privileges given to men who use alcohol to be abusive, male-dominant decision making

3. Community solidarity groups (both men and women) started supporting women who were subject to Gender Based Violence (eg. choosing such households to host the "collective child stimulation evenings", especially when the drunk men arrive home).

4. Exerting social pressure on abusers to stop violence - several seemingly independent men talking to those men (who consume alcohol and/or behave abusively), at different times delivering the message in different tones. Village shop owners stopped granting credit-based purchases for these men's own personal needs until they demonstrate change, people stopped showing friendly gestures etc

These are great actions Kalana. What I liked is that you are addressing deeper issues. Thank you!

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