An ordinary citizen's fight against alcohol consumption
Narayanan for many years has been running a scientific instruments business. He has always been passionate about social work and, like many who make a mark, he chose a different path to tread early on. For instance, some years ago, he and his wife who have a daughter, decided to adopt a child. It was a heartening gesture. In recent times, as his business has grown to be steady, Narayanan has been focusing more on serving society – taking classes for socially deprived children, investing in a large van that now serves as a mobile library in North Chennai, and garnering support for his drive against consumption of alcohol and drugs.
Narayanan hopes to make ‘Paadam’ as he calls it a dynamic people’s movement that will usher in comprehensive social change. “While drawing inspiration from Gandhian philosophy and values, the movement will use inputs and experiences of other nations and proactive communities,” he says, referring to the hard work put in by his team to research and gather data on the subject of alcohol consumption.
Paadam has established chapters in Tamil Nadu’s 31 districts; these chapters will provide leadership and direction to groups of youth and communities to fight alcohol and drug abuse. “All of us agree that a strong containment policy backed by public support is more effective than total prohibition. Mere preaching on moral grounds will not bear fruit,” he is convinced. And adds that production, marketing and distribution of alcohol and drugs is an economic activity that harms society. He stresses that hundreds and thousands of families, especially in the lower rung of society, have been destroyed because the family head comes home drunk every day.
Narayanan and his teams spread across Tamil Nadu will focus on creating a strong public opinion against the supply of alcohol, which includes advertisements related to alcohol and sale of illicit liquor. He is collecting as many signatures as he can to prove that many people are against the sale and consumption of alcohol on the streets, as does generally happen in TASMAC (Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation Limited) shops in Tamil Nadu. Of course, after repeated pleas from affected residents and action from authorities, several TASMAC shops have had to shift premises. But many continue to flourish in residential localities, near schools and colleges. Women, young girls especially find it very difficult to walk past these shops to their homes.
So, will Narayanan’s movement, Paadam, gain momentum? Will his efforts lead to something substantial? We will have to wait and watch, as he plans peaceful demonstrations in all the districts in the days ahead. If you wish to support his cause, you can contact him at 98403 93581.