A group, which was started with the objective of grooming the younger generation to strictly follow ‘Christian way of life’ and later transformed into a group to save the people, especially the youth from alcohol, has become 100 years old.
The Amalorpava Matha Sodality came into existence in the coastal hamlet of Uvari in 1912 after a Jesuit Priest started it with the objective of channelizing the youth with noble qualities besides teaching them about the way of ‘Christian life’. When Rev. Fr. Antony Soosainathar, parish priest of Uvari saw several families getting ruined by alcoholism and gambling, he transformed the Amalorpava Matha Sodality into a movement against liquor and gambling with the concurrence of the village elders.
“It happened on August 15, 1922 when Fr. Antony Soosainathar offered the Holy Mass in which he, during the homily, said the objective of Amalorpava Matha Sodality would be liberating the Uvari citizens from liquor. The members of the sodality will make a vow in front of the statue of Blessed Holy Mother and the in the presence of the parish priest once in three months that they would never even touch alcohol and it’s continuing even today,” says Rev. Fr. Jayanthan, director of Amalorpava Matha Sodality Against Liquor, which has been established in 42 parishes of Tuticorin RC Diocese in the recent past and has so far rehabilitated 82 persons from liquor.
Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam general secretary Vaiko, who took-out a 14-day padayatra to Madurai demanding total prohibition in Tamil Nadu, started the march from Uvari on December 12, 2012.
“I have handpicked this coastal hamlet for starting my padayatra to Madurai for a noble cause and urgent need as this village saw the institution of a religious group by Roman Catholic Priest Antony Soosainathar on August 15, 1922 for saving hard-working fishermen from alcoholism. Even though this group was started in 1912 by a Jesuit Priest with religious objectives, it was later transformed to achieve enviable social cause of saving the villagers, especially the youth from liquor. Hence, I’m starting my padayatra from Uvari,” Mr. Vaiko then said while starting his mission.
As this anti-liquor movement has become century-old on Monday (August 15), the residents of Uvari took out a procession and renewed their vow in front of the statues of Blessed Holy Mother Mary and Rev. Fr. Soosainathar that they would never touch liquor.
“We admit that alcoholism is more vigorously spreading in every village including Uvari despite the efforts we take against alcoholism. Besides liquor, our youth are getting spoilt by other narcotic substances now to make our presence more relevant and the situation warrants more work with a lot of intent,” says Rev. Fr. Jayanthan.