GUWAHATI: A social media page "India in Pixels" has recently come into limelight after a post on the statistics on women drinker state-wise was published on July 27, 2020, caught the attention of the Union MInister.
The post showcased Arunachal- as the highest number of women drinkers in India followed by Sikkim.
In the post, along with a creative, the statistics were- "Among women who drink alcohol, 18 per cent drink alcohol almost every day, and 35 per cent drink alcohol about once a week.
The percentage of women age 15-49 who drink alcohol is by far the highest among women in Arunachal Pradesh (26%) and Sikkim (23%).
Drinking is common among women from scheduled tribes (7%) than from any other caste/tribe group."
Surprisingly to this, almost after 6 months, Union Minister, Kiren Rijiju shared the post on his timeline and questioned the credibility of the data and wrote, "This is an interesting data! But on what basis you put my State Arunachal Pradesh on the top for men and women!."
Meanwhile, the social media page "India in Pixels" replied to this stating, "Thank you Kiren Rijiju Sir for deeming my work worthy of your attention. The data is from the National Family Health Survey from 2015-16 and it is likely that the stats would have been updated if a recent study was conducted.
A policymaker like Kiren Sir noticing our work is a validation of the fact that data grounded conversations can be facilitated with easy visualizations. This is a big affirmation to the goal of this page to make official data more accessible in our country without any layer of bias or emotions.
Personally, I think this stat tells how North Eastern cultures do not view alcohol as a taboo and rather part of life. I am sure someone more experienced than me can interpret the data in a better context. That is the beauty of data - it tells what the world is, not what it should be or what is ought to be."
It is to be mentioned that in the latest Health and Family Welfare Statistics (HFWS) in India published in 2020, it has been reported that 26.3 per cent of women and 59.4 per cent of men between 15-54 years of age consume alcohol in Assam.
While in the 15-49 age group, with 59 per cent, men from Arunachal Pradesh were found to be the highest consumer of alcohol in the country.