Hydrocarbons have always affected Kerala. For good reasons or bad. Back in 70s and 80s, many young men from the state made a fortune due to the Gulf oil boom. Today Kerala is drowning. (yes, this beautiful strip of land is indeed drowning into the Arabian sea due to global warming, but my concern is more immediate in nature). The current youth of Kerala has drowned in yet another hydrocarbon- “Alcohol”.
Not just Kerala, but Coorg, a part of Karnataka, is also fighting the same problem. Coorgies are the warrior clans of South India, and are known for serving the army. The modern youth of both Kerala and Coorg is facing a common problem- unavailability of their father. In many cases, a child’s father is either working in the gulf or serving the army.
As a result, the young men are drowning in alcohol. They are in hospitals, ravaged with pancreatitis and liver diseases. In the peak of life, they are battling alcohol withdrawal syndromes in de-addiction centres. Not just slow death, these youngsters are also inviting fast death. 95 per cent of vehicular accidents of the region are due to drunken driving. Disheartening but true. The churches of Kerala and Coorg have woken up to this problem. They are doing their best to stop this.