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Drugs dent macho image of Punjabi men
Aman Sood
Tribune News Service

Patiala, February 21
Not too long ago, robustness used to be synonymous with Punjabi males. The youth in almost every household used to follow a regimen of regular physical exercise and healthy food — ghee and milk being its vital components. Rightly were they then called “gabru jawans” (robust youth), a characteristic that not only people in neighbouring states but also the entire country used to be envy of.

But the robust image of the Punjabi youth has been dented of late, thanks to drugs and alcohol replacing ghee and milk on their diet charts. And their growing aversion to physical exercise has dealt the final blow. While earlier youth used to get a kick by going to akharas (rural wrestling grounds) for physical training, now their present day contemporaries are twice as crazy about marking their attendance at ahatas (drinking places at liquor vends) or drug havens. Such a trend of Punjabi youth losing their robustness came to light at a constable-recruitment rally in Patiala.

Of the total 7,114 candidates who had applied, only 3,382 appeared for the physical test — meaning more than half of them lost in advance, apparently due to the fear of failure. And of those who turned up, only 1,456 (till February 19) could clear the test.

Highlighting the harms caused by drugs, police officials claim that the physique of most of the youth was found to be below the set norms and majority of them appeared undernourished. They could not run even half the qualifying distance. The easy availability of drugs is the clear culprit, they opine.

Patiala SSP Gurpreet Singh Gill said drug and alcohol abuse could be blamed for the falling standards. The missing exercise regimen was another cause, he said. “Their (Punjabi youth’s) height is also getting stinted and it is due to drinking at an early age. Haryana youth, on the other hand, are far stronger,” Gill said.





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