The Punjabis will surely have a complexity problem as Assam is the surprising winner in both the male and female categories as nation’s top drinker crushing Punjab and Telengana’s reputation as big drinking states. Assam is way ahead of any mainland state as only two tribal states of the region Mizoram and Meghalaya had given some competition. Gujarat is the only major state which is in similar league as Assam.
Assam not only topped the male but also in female as a new Govt of India reports that one out of four women of Assam are regular drinkers. The same report suggests that every second male of Assam is a drinker.
This surely leaves complex issues with Punjab which always boasts a high drinking habit with their famous Patiala Peg.
According to the Health and Welfare Ministry statistics 2019-2020, Assam men and women have been ranked highest in terms of alcohol consumption in India.
As per the report released by the ministry, women of Assam in the age category 15 to 49 years have topped the list with 26.3 % while the national average lies at 1.2%. The percentage of women of the same age group who consume alcohol once a week stands at 44.8 % in the state.
Men on the other hand in the age category 15 to 54 years and 15 to 49 years have also topped the chart with 59.4 % and 35.6 % respectively. The national average furthermore for both the age groups is quite low as opposed to the state’s tally with 29.5 % (15-54 years) and 29.2 % (15-49 years).
Meanwhile, the percentage of men consuming alcohol in Mizoram and Meghalaya have accounted for 56.8% and 54.6 %, taking the second and third place on the list. Women in these two states, although not the lowest, the percentage for both stands at 4.8 % and 8.7 % respectively.
As for Nagaland, women between the age of 15 and 54 years have come second-lowest in the list with 0.1 %. However, among the 0.1 % of women, the state has the highest percentage of women who consume alcohol once a week with 65.5 %.
The report further stated that 17.7 % of women and 60 % of men in Assam between the age group 15 and 49 consume tobacco on a daily basis.
It may be however mentioned that it could be impossible to ascertain who actually consumes the alcohol when one buys a liquor bottle from a local wine shop as the buyer may get it for personal consumption or may or may not share it with their spouse or partners.
Although there are other mechanisms to find out the statistics, it still raises questions as to how the figures in the report were ascertained with 100% accuracy.