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Global Health Survey – Ghost In The Machine


Map of international healthcare attitudes - LSE-BUPA 12 country study

Map of international healthcare attitudes - LSE-BUPA 12 country study

Around 84 per cent of Britons are drinkers – way ahead of the lowest nation, India, where just 27 per cent ever have a tipple – compared with the international average of 71 per cent. (via Why we are the world’s booziest nation: Britons drink more regularly than any other country | Mail Online).

This report by Daily Mail was widely distributed in the Indian print and online media. The Daily Mail report was itself based on a survey of 12 countries, conducted by London School of Economics (LSE), for BUPA, an insurance corporation – with India coverage also.

What happens when more than 500 million have close to zero family life.

What happens when more than 500 million have close to zero family life.

Data before doubt

Since this report came from IANS, further verification was required.

There are a few obvious areas where discrepancies can possibly come into in this survey. For instance, survey possibly measured consumption trends of Western alcoholic beverages.

After all traditional Indian alcoholic beverages are produced in every town and village. In Indian society, orthodox restrictions on consumption of alcoholic beverages apply to less than 30%-35% of the population (Brahmins, Vaishyas and Muslims).

For the balance 65%-70% of the population restrictions on consumption of alcoholic beverages don’t apply. Additionally, there are traditional home-brews that are not possibly reported, measured or estimated. Home brews made like tharra (from sugarcane juice), tadi, arakh (from palm tree sap), daaru (from mahua flowers, hadia, chuak, sonti, (rice-based), chhaang (grain based-barley, millet or rice) pheni (from kaju fruit), grapes, are common all over the country.

Substance use and addiction research in India by Pratima Murthy et al. Click to download PDF file.

Substance use and addiction research in India by Pratima Murthy et al. Click to download PDF file.

But going by some independent studies, this figure seems to hold up. A study which uses a wide data-set, reports 21.4% alcohol usage across India.

Previous posts on tobacco consumption and narcotics have examined this issue from historical basis.

Apparently, the Indian family structure does a better job than the State – in crime control despite a huge illegal gun population and a small police force. Low tobacco consumption in spite of being a large tobacco producer.

Most narcotic drugs were discovered in India – yet drug abuse remains low in India.  During the 1960-1990 period, when gold trade was severely affected, the drugs-transshipment-for-gold pipeline sparked a global crime wave. India became the conduit for drugs from the Golden Triangle and the Golden Crescent. Yet drug consumption remained a minor problem. Or the huge commercial sex and pornography industry in the West. But, then the Desert Bloc needs people to be ‘single – and far from home’.

Unlike भारत-तंत्र Bharat-tantra.

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  1. June 5, 2011 at 2:23 pm

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