Mangaluru: "After the programme `Sankalpa Dina` in our village, there was a marriage programme in my family, where we did not serve liquor. Instead of that, we have organised some entertainment programmes like singing and dancing for elders and small children", says Tharanath, a resident of Ekkuru.
Another person Chandrashekhar, who is also from the same village informs that `Sankalpa Dina` was a good programme, which has helped to create awareness among the people about the ill-effects of liquor. "I was inspired by the programme and I asked my friends and relatives not to serve liquor while organising any type of programmes in their house", he adds.
It is nearly 10 months after a unique programme `Sankalpa Dina` was organised at the premises of Ayyappa Bhajana Mandir in Ekkuru, where some residents of that village pledged that they would not serve alcohol during their household events. An attractive word was also placed on the banner of the programme which suggests `Gangasara Korade, Bonda Korle` (Don't serve alcohol but serve tender coconut).`
The idea was first proposed by one Jayaprakash of Kumpala who is a laundryman by profession. Earlier, he was working in a bar and restaurant in city, where he closely observed the activities of drunkards. He also observed the agony of a family wherein the father was addicted to alcohol and mother faced a lot of problems due to alcohol consumption of her husband. As he was born and brought up at Ekkuru village, he decided to organise a programme `Sankalpa Dina` at Ekkuru on December 24, 2017, to which the members of Ayyappa Bhajana Mandir, Hindu Yuva Sene and Nanda Deepa Mahila Mandali also joined hands in the programme. The intention of the programme was to create an alcohol free village and prevent youngsters from falling victim to the alcohol.
Usually, youngsters get addicted to alcohol when they attend functions such as birthday parties, anniversaries, weddings among others where liquor is freely served. Hence, an attempt was made to create an alcohol free village in Ekkuru. Ekagamyananda Swamiji of Ramakrishna Matt administered the oath to the residents of Ekkuru, wherein they pledged that they would not allow alcohol to enter any of their household events. Meanwhile, the pontiff asked the organisers not to give up their efforts in creating the alcohol free village irrespective of the challenges.
Jayaprakash Ekkuru, when contacted, told Newskarnataka that though he had not completely achieved success in his efforts, he was satisfied with the results thus far. "Around 10 to 20 percent of the people in Ekkuru village have decided not to supply liquor in their programmes. Such a decision would at least prevent 10 percent of youngsters from falling victims to liquor", he says.
'Leaders of Hindu outfits should cooperate'
Jayaprakash opines that if the Hindu outfits like Vishwa Hindu Parishat, Bajrang Dal among others would take this issue on a serious note and direct its followers not to serve liquor in their household programmes, it will yield positive results. Hence, he has already planned to meet RSS leader Kalladka Prabhakar Bhat and Bajrang Dal leader Sharan Pumpwell to convince them to hold such programmes.
'Don't hold liquor party but organise programmes which promote culture and tradition'
However, Bajrang Dal leader Sharan Pumpwell when contacted informed that the decision of not serving liquor in household programmes was a good move as youngsters are easily attracted towards alcohol. "Though the idea is good, we will not force the people. Holding programmes with or without liquor is left to their discretion. However, as a leader of a Hindu organisation, I would like to ask the people not to serve liquor at home while conducting any programmes. Instead of that, hold some programmes which promote our Hindu culture and tradition", he said.
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