What ails people in Gohaldihi village

Alcoholism is a bane for most families here. Everybody wants the liquor store destroyed. Indrajit had to quit his job and come back home as his mother and sister were unable to deal with his alcoholic father.

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Puja Bhattacharjee | January 30, 2013



Everything seems to be going well for the Singh family of Gohaldihi village. The elder son, Sapan, has cracked the police exam and is now undergoing training in Medinipur town. His mother Bharati says the training is for three months after which he will be recruited with a salary of Rs 14,000 per month.

While we were in the middle of conversation, his father Sudhir Singh staggers into the porch. Rita (daughter) and Bharati’s face falls upon seeing him. Rita tells me that he drinks every day after work and creates a ruckus at home. After the diwali (locally known as Kali puja) holidays, Indrajit, the younger brother had secured employment in Dadar, Mumbai. He worked as a jewellery craftsman and earned Rs 2,500 a month. He was called back home by his brother as his mother and sister in absence of any male member were unable to deal with their alcoholic father.

In no time Sudhir has the entire house on edge. He goes on and on about what a powerful man he is. “When I walk, the ground trembles,” he says. The neighbours stifle their laugh as his family looks tense. After a while when he tries to take me to the alcohol shop for a drink, Indrajit angrily confronts him. Still he seems beyond any reason. “He comes home drunk every night and the next morning when he wakes up he can’t recall having dinner. Then he blames me for starving him,” says Bharati. The problem is not limited to their family. Apparently the entire village suffers due to alcoholism. Everybody wants the liquor store destroyed.

Meanwhile, Sapan informs Rita that he is finding the extensive physical training taxing on his health as he suffers from digestion problems. Every Sunday, when Bharati comes to meet him as he is not allowed out of the facility, she gives him medicines. As Indrajit is home, awaiting another opportunity, all hope is tied to Sapan.
 

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