Tamil Nadu: PMK’s Anbumani Ramadoss demands counseling for gambling addicts

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Pattali Makkal Katchi’s (PMK) president Anbumani Ramadoss spoke on the recent suicide case due to losing money on online rummy and called out the current Tamil Nadu government to provide mental health counselling for people who have lost money on online gambling.

Ramadoss said that online gambling has created several debt ridden families who have several people fighting depression. And thus, he urged the government to provide them mental health counselling as addiction has taken a toll on many lives in the state recently.

“I am deeply saddened to learn that Mariselvam, a private bank employee from Vadhakpathur village near Sankarankoil, Tenkasi district, committed suicide due to depression due to loss of money in online gambling and unable to repay the loan. My deepest condolences and sympathies to his bereaved family,” Ramadoss said in a statement.

He further said that Mariselvam lost over Rs 25 lakh on online gambling and was only able to pay back Rs 10 lakh and committed suicide due to depression. He emphasized that what Mariselvam and numerous others in the state have done did is not the solution.

“Those who have already lost money in online gambling need to recover from the trauma and suicidal ideation. For that, the Tamil Nadu government should provide mental health counselling to them,” he added.

The incident was also recently brought up by the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) state president K Annamalai who criticized the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) government over their sloppy implementation of the bill banning online gaming in the state.

Annamalai said that the current government promised a five-member Online Gaming Authority, but no progress in that regard is done yet. He made a rather blunt remark that instead of using the bill as a publicity tool, the government should make sure it is actually infallible to prevent these kinds of harsh steps taken by the people.

Recently, Haryana’s Rohtak has started offering mental rehab for addicts of online gambling at its drug-dependence centre. The experts at the centre are also offering practices that tend to help the gambling addicts in recovering, and also inculcate better life routines. Many have lauded the steps taken by authorities in the state to curb the addictive habit of gambling in the state.