Lure of Quick Money: Concerns Mount Over Addiction to Online Gambling

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The surge in popularity of online gambling platforms is causing large-scale distress, particularly among the youth.

Mohammad Alamullah | Clarion India

NEW DELHI – As the nation remains engrossed in the excitement of the ongoing IPL cricket matches, a darker trend has emerged on the sidelines. The surge in popularity of online gambling platforms, notably Dream11, is causing large-scale distress, particularly among the youth. This phenomenon, compounded by economic hardships, raises alarms about the detrimental effects on individuals, families, and society at large.

In the heart of North-East Delhi, areas like Jaffarabad, Kabir Nagar, Welcome, Janta Colony, and Basti Noor Elahi are bustling with jacket and jeans factories, providing livelihoods to thousands of artisans. However, amidst the clatter of machinery and the hum of production, a worrying trend has taken root. Hundreds of workers, grappling with financial instability, are turning to online gambling as a means to supplement their income.

Of late a rapid increase has been seen in the use of digital payment platforms like Paytm and Phone Pay among factory workers. A thorough probe revealed a troubling reality – funds meant for sustenance are diverted towards online gambling. One worker lamented: “We play games with this money. Sometimes we win, but more often than not, we lose. It’s a vicious cycle.”

The allure of quick money and the adrenaline rush of gambling have ensnared not only the youth but also the elderly. Alarming reports reveal a growing addiction to these platforms, pushing individuals towards financial ruin. Saleem Rahmani, District President of Jamiat Ulema Hind in North-East Delhi, voiced grave concerns. “Mobile phones are the root cause of this malaise. If we can keep our children away from them, we might prevent the impending disaster,” he said.

Echoing Rahmani’s sentiments, Mufti Taslim Raza, President of Delhi-based All India Ulama-e-Islam, highlighted the societal ramifications. “Our society stands at a precipice. Children are squandering their time and money on these platforms. Urgent remedial measures are needed,” he said. Raza emphasised that the government should initiate steps to curb the proliferation of such addictive games.

Shahnaz Bano, a teacher, underscored the role of parental responsibility in curbing this trend. “Mothers play a crucial role in shaping their children’s behaviour. They must monitor their children’s online activities closely,” Bano stressed. She urged both factory owners and the government to take decisive action to safeguard the vulnerable segments of society.

The prevailing sentiment among community leaders and educators is clear: immediate action is imperative to stem the tide of online gambling addiction.

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