GST and Dying Poor
If GST is a firm and innovative step for India, why Mr Modi, Hon'ble Prime Minister of India, tells good news time to time for its slight exemption in some particular sectors? Is it an election compulsion or it's an erroneous decision of his government? His government is for whom—for rich or poor?

The Modi government has failed to safeguard the interests of majority of its population. Health care facilities for all are also a failure sector significantly. Health care suffers from many lacks (inadequate and insufficient). Rural population, especially the poor have to face its consequences. Usually they have tremendous strength to bear their pain at an extreme point. But when they reach to health care system, they are neglected from required services. Thus, they generally depend on either on traditional health care or non-qualified quacks at their community.

But after thorough campaign they change their mind-set and they slowly adopt modern health care facilities. GST has raised cost of medicines at 18% on MRP which is very much hard to them who anyhow try to manage their health care expenses. Sometimes, they lend money from private sources at high interest or take loan from Self Help Group for their health care. Now how they would manage this extra burden of GST so far as their treatment is concerned.

They either would avoid modern treatment care or they would return to their old practices of traditional care. Their survival would cease to exist. There is hardly any chance to improve their development aspects.
Harasankar Adhikari, Kolkata

Alcohol and Youth
The World Report on Violence and Health (WRVH) says that alcohol abuse may be an important factor in depression. More ominously the WRVH report says that alcohol and drug abuse also play an important role in suicide. In the USA, at least one quarter of all suicides are reported to involve alcohol abuse.

According to the American Psychological Association, "Alcohol use and alcoholism can worsen existing conditions such as depression and induce new problems such as serious memory loss, depression or anxiety".

According to NIH, USA "Alcohol abuse may lead to suicidality through disinhibition, impulsiveness and impaired judgment but it may also be used as a means to ease the distress associated with an act of suicide".

Researchers who compared alcoholics with non-drinkers found suicide tendencies in the former to be 60 times or more. Research by Razvodovsky in Russia revealed that suicides decreased in areas where vodka consumption was restricted.

According to the WHO, alcohol consumption in adolescents, especially binge drinking, negatively affects school performance, increasing participation in crime and leads to risky sexual behavior. The WHO quotes growing scientific evidence that has demonstrated the special harmful effects of alcohol consumption prior to adulthood on brain; mental; cognitive add social functioning of youth and increased likelihood of adult alcohol dependence and alcohol related problems among those who drink before physiological maturity.

The WRVH says especially in the context of youth violence that drunkenness is an important immediate situational factor that can precipitate violence. In a Swedish study on youth-violence, about three-quarters of violent offenders and around half the victims of violence were intoxicated at the time of the incident.

Several surveys indicate high end rapidly increased consumption of alcohol amongst youth. What is particularly worrying is high consumption at a very tender age which is likely to be very harmful for brain and also lead to much higher risk of alcohol dependence in later years. For example, in UK binge drinking thrice or more a month is reported among 33 percent of adolescents in the 15-16 age groups. Binge drinking levels affecting between 25 to 40 percent of youth are quite common now.
Bharat Dogra, New Delhi

Vol. 50, No.22, Dec 3 - 9, 2017