I represent IOGT in a reference group for a Swedish-Indian project on alcohol harm prevention, involving young people, the state level in India and the Swedish and Indian public health institutes…

This week there has been presented a very interesting report on “Alcohol Marketing and Regulatory Policy Environment in India” (pdf file here: PHFI-Alcohol-Industry-Report).

The report is a result of the cooperation between the Swedish National Institute of Public Health (FHI) and the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), financed by the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA).

The report contains:

  • Comprehensive mapping of the existing rules and regulations in India governing alcohol products.
  • A mapping of  Big Alcohol’s marketing strategies in India.

The majority of people in the Indian sub-continent choose to live free from alcohol. For example more than 80% of Indian women live free from alcohol. Only one third of Indian males use alcohol. While Big Alcohol considers the markets in the West largely saturated, they target low- and middle-income countries aggressively. India is among the high-profile targets that the global alcohol industry has chosen in order to increase profits by getting more Indians to start using alcohol.

  • Those who use alcohol in India cause tremendous harm because of their patterns and amounts of alcohol use: consumption to intoxication is dominating and for instance gender-based violence, like the notorious rape cases, are often alcohol-related.

I think that the cooperation between Sweden and India to prevent alcohol harm is crucial and most welcome. As one of the world’s biggest countries, India plays a tremendous strategic role when it comes to tackle the epidemic of alcohol harm in the region and globally.

It’s therefore a great pleasure and privilege to me to be part of the reference group for this cooperation and to ensure that IOGT International effectively contributes with the know-how and expertise we and our members have.

In April we send Vidar (then the President of UNF) and Sampath (Director Human Development and Administration of ADIC Sri Lanka) to New Delhi to join the Students’ Parliament on Health and share their experiences on how to advocate for alcohol policy, how to form appealing messages for young people and design effective community-based actions involving youth in the fight to prevent alcohol harm.

ADIC runs its Digital Stories competition very successfully.

This is the winner from last year:

And this best practice has already inspired our partners in India to draw up their own competition empowering youth to get creative in our joint efforts to prevent alcohol harm and curb the global alcohol industry.

Creativity for #LifeSetFree

Creativity for #LifeSetFree

Tomorrow we have Sampath present again in New Delhi, together with Simon who until recently was the Director of the think tank FAKE FREE.

At this workshop tomorrow there’ll be the Swedish Alcohol retail monopoly (Systembolaget), the prevention campaign IQ, FHI and PHFI together with IOGT International discuss together how the states can work more concretely to prevent and reduce alcohol harm.