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Mammootty vows to avoid liquor in films

Malayalam superstar Mammootty has produced a documentary that asks people to avoid liquor in Kerala, which has recorded the highest alcohol consumption in the country. He also said he would do his best to avoid liquor and not act in film sequences featuring alcohol.

Mammotty's 40-second film with a message - Say No to Liquor and Say No to Drugs - was unveiled Thursday by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy.

"I always try to avoid such scenes but at times it becomes imperative to do it because the situation demands it. I assure everyone that from now on I will do my best to avoid such scenes which depict liquor or liquor imposed scenes," said Mammootty, who has been the numero one actor of the Malayalam film industry for two decades, at the event.

Pointing to director Priyadarshan, who was present at the event, Mammootty said: "You have to ask people like him (Priyadarshan) because they ask us to do this and that. But let me tell you, I will do my best to do away with such scenes."

Chandy said that people should make an edeavour to rid Kerala of the tag of being the top liquor consuming state.

"Not long ago, Kerala was known for the huge strides it had made in literacy and its health status. But of late, it has taken a back seat and we are now known as the top liquor consuming state. This has to change and we all hope that the promotional material like this (Mammootty's documentary) will do us a world of good," the chief minister said.

Excise Minister K. Babu said that the video will be shown in theatres and will be aired on television, besides being screened in educational institutions.

"The young minds have to be taught the evils of liquor and drugs - our target group is schoolchildren," said Babu.

According to a report, liquor sales touched an all time high of Rs.6,730.30 crore 2010-11 from Rs.5,539.85 crore in 2009-10.

The government earned Rs.5,239 crore from liquor sales during the last fiscal year, while it was Rs.4,260 crore in 2009-10.

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