B’lore teens hit the bottle

It is indeed a cause for concern that many teens and some even school-going kids are served drinks at Manchester United Restaurant Bar in Bangalore. These upscale establishments are commercialized to the core and whoever, adult or minor, pays the entry fee would be allowed to enter them. It is unfortunate that such establishments fail to check the IDs of schoolchildren and bar them entry. Many can easily find an entry to watering holes in the city as they do not check for IDs! The worse is when one sees children with their uniforms at such places. Consumption of alcohol during the formative years can set a pattern for later life, as alcohol will tend to have more effect on their developing bodies. The increase in the availability of “designer drinks” can be accused of making alcohol far more attractive to younger people. There is a need for the government to address the problems of underage and teenage drinking. This should involve changes in legislation, responsible marketing, effective monitoring of alcohol industry and health education. Though it is difficult to keep a tab on under-age drinking, authorities should undertake a full audit of the market and consider ways to prohibit products that either appeal to young people more than adults, or are associated with problematic drinking. Police should pay surprise checks to bars and establishments serving liquor and book cases against them, if found guilty.

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