Young Mumbai just loves to drink and more girls than boys are hooked to the bottle.
At least four out of 10 teenage girls take to drinking even before they turn 15. Don’t be shocked. For these are the findings of a nationwide ASSOCHAM (Associated Chamber of Commerce and Industry of India) Social Development Foundation survey.
In metro cities, 45% in the 15-19 age group drink in excess — at least five to six times in a month. And the reason for drinking can range from trying to look “cool and sexy” to “just for fun” or to “overcome boredom”.
Teenagers from Delhi and Mumbai top the charts. Approximately one-third of all teenagers have their first drink (more than a few sips) before entering college, the survey found.
Also, pubs and bars do not insist on age proofs and often let schoolchildren drink as long as they are paying for it. Rarely any action is taken against errant pubs, according to the survey.
Absence of parents, advertisements of imported brands coupled with spending power work in favour of teenagers. The survey covered Mumbai, GOA, Cochin, Chennai, Hyderabad, Indore, Patna, Pune, Delhi, Chandigarh and Dehradun.
DNA visited four popular restaurants and bars in the city to find out if they verify the age of young customers. None asked for any age proof.
The Maharashtra government’s proposal to increase the permissible age for drinking to 25 years is still to be implemented.