Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam general secretary Vaiko, would launch a 14-day padayatra from Uvari on December 12, demanding total prohibition.
Earlier, he had gone on a 42-day padayatra in 2004 from Tirunelveli to Chennai demanding linking of peninsular rivers and the early completion of Sethsamudram Ship Channel Project. Mr. Vaiko will wind up the march in Madurai on Christmas day.
“Since liquor is the root cause for all social evils and heinous crimes, in Tamil Nadu, the MDMK, with the intention of saving thousands and thousands of families across Tamil Nadu and the youth, demands total prohibition. To highlight our demand, we will raise awareness among the public on the evils of liquor,” Mr. Vaiko told reporters here on Monday.
As more of younger generation were turning addicts to liquor, , Mr. Vaiko himself interviewed youngsters at seven places in the State and selected 1,200 youths, all below the age of 30, to accompany him in the padayatra.
“Most of them do not have any association with MDMK in the past. Having experienced problems triggered by liquor in their families, they have come forward to join the fight against liquor,” Mr. Vaiko said. There is an interesting flashback for selecting the coastal hamlet of Uvari as the starting point.
A hundred years ago, the Roman Catholic priest in the village formed a religious group along with the residents to highlight the need for prohibition in the village to save the fishermen from the evils of alcoholism.
The campaign was a resounding success with the entire village giving up the habit. The village, in a bid to thank the priest and commemorate the eventful incident, has brought out a magazine in this connection.