Nepal Alcohol Policy Alliance (NAPA) on March 4 organised a media sensitisation programme on media’s role for immediate formation and implementation of comprehensive alcohol policy in the country.

 In the programme, Sumnima Tuladhar, National Coordinator of NAPA said excessive alcohol consumption culture is now shifting from adult to youngsters and children, men to women, and from richer to poorer. Meanwhile, it is also affecting the Millennium Development Goal to alleviate the country’s poverty level by 2015. So, it is a crucial time to bring a comprehensive alcohol policy in the country.

Meanwhile, Tarak Dhital, an official at NAPA secretariat said it is a very challenging job to bring the policy in a state where the country is collecting huge revenue from the alcohol industry. So, here the media can play a vital role in pressuring government through their articles, blogs, TV and Radio programmes.

Dhital also stressed that there is also a dire need of developing polices in media houses outlining how alcohol and drunkenness will be portrayed and referred to during media coverage. There should also be a ban on the coverage of alcohol beverages in advertisements that are published in print media too. During the programme, about 25 participants from different national dailies, FM/radios, and television showed their commitment to pressurise the government for the formulation and effective implementation of alcohol policy. 

NAPA is a national level network established in 2009 by the effort of civil society organization’s working in human rights, social justice, and alcohol control. It studies the impact of alcohol use in the community through active research. It is also working against harmful alcohol use as well as coordinating with the Global Alcohol Policy Alliance (GAPA) and FORUT Norway.