‘Age is just a number’ is a very famous adage which means that nobody should be judged based on their age. It seems like the owners of liquor vends and wine shops have taken it very seriously as they are providing alcoholic products to people of any age group.

When talking about alcohol, the name of Punjab pops up automatically in one's head. Reportedly, Punjab is the top most state where children between the age group 10-17 consume alcohol the most. To address it, the government has issued certain guidelines saying that people below 25 years of age must not be served any kind of alcohol products.

True Scoop conducted a reality check in Jalandhar to check whether the liquor vendors and wine shops of the city are following the guidelines or if these rules are just on paper. Our teams of reporters, all below the age of 25, went to 5 busiest wine shops in the city to purchase liquor to check how dutifully the rules were being followed.

Firstly, no boards were put outside the shops. Most importantly, owners did not even confirm their age before giving alcohol let alone checking their identity proofs.

The video shown below is a reality check and brings out the harsh truth that revenue is being prioritized over rules and the overall well-being of our youth.

The vends where our team carried out the Reality Check were:

1. BSF Chowk near Khalsa College- A male reporter of age 21 went to the wine shop. They did not even bother to check his identity proof and know his age before giving him any kind of alcohol.

2. Near KMV College: Again, a wine shop near the college and still no heed is being paid to put a board or check the age before handing over of bottle. Here our female reporter aged 20 went to buy liquor and got it without being checked.

3. Ladowali Road, near DC Office: Female reporter of age 19 years went to a vend which is just 100m away from the DC office. The owner was not even scared to get caught for not following the guidelines and no check is kept upon it by the local authorities as well.

4. New Court Chowk- A reporter 20 years of age went to a wine shop near the court, but the owner of the wine shop was not at all reluctant and gave the liquor asked without checking any identity card.

5. Model Town, near Shivani Park- A posh area of Jalandhar, where people of all age groups roam around, does not care about any guidelines. It is just concerned with giving liquor to any person who comes and adds on to its revenue. A female reporter of age 19 went there without any identity proof but no one cared.

IAS Varun Roojam, Excise Commissioner Punjab, informed about the guidelines and said that the minimum age of alcohol consumption in the state is 25 years. Not only this, all the vends and wine shops have to put a board outside the premises so that people below the age of 25 will not be given any kind of liquor.

This Reality Check by True Scoop points out the failure and casual attitude of the system that is responsible for the implementation of these guidelines in the city. A check is pertinent to combat the overall culture of substance abuse in youngsters.

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