city anchor: Alcoholics Anonymous on a high after show on Satyamev Jayate
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The 22 groups are operational in areas such as Vitthalwadi, Padmavati, Nana Peth, Shukrawar Peth under different names like Prerna, Sankalp, Disha, Ishakrupa.
The number of members of the only female group in the city Women in Sobriety has remained the same - five members. "It is primarily because of the stigma associated with women taking to alcohol. No one would like to acknowledge that fact that his/her daughter or sister or wife or mother is addicted to alcohol. Three women visited us after the AA was featured on TV but they did not come for the second meeting," said Geeta, an AA member, who heads Women in Sobriety group in Pune and holds meetings every Sunday at Barco Hall, near Shivaji Market.
At the age of 21, Geeta took her first drink and soon, she reached a stage where she was emptying a full bottle of rum or whisky alone, at one go. "This kind of drinking went on for over a year and a half. I used to have blackouts, I would throw up and didn't remember small things like whether I had dinner the previous night or not. That's when I realised that there is something wrong with my pattern of drinking and I attended my first AA meeting in Delhi," recalls Geeta.
Today, despite the small number of women members, she invariably holds the meeting every Sunday.