In a small, but powerful attempt to wean away the young generation, particularly school and college students, from the danger of alcohol addiction, a fuel station in Karur has come out with a novel scheme of doling out two litres of petrol to those reciting all 10 couplets of Kal Unnamai (shunning liquor) Adhikaram of Thirukkural composed by Tamil poet Thiruvalluvar.
Ever since the announcement was made by K. Senguttuvan, proprietor of the fuel station named after Thiruvallur near Aravakurichi on Karur-Madurai highway on January 15, on the occasion of Thiruvalluvar birth anniversary, college students have been making a beeline to the fuel station and reciting the couplets in front of a jury.
The moment they explain the meaning of the couplets, the staff members of the fuel station fill two litres of petrol worth about ₹207 in their vehicles.
A total of 240 students, most of them studying in colleges, recited all 10 couplets of Kal Unnamai Adhikaram within the first three days of the announcement.
Though the scheme was originally meant for a period of three days from January 15, when sale of liquor in outlets owned by Tasmac peak, the overwhelming response has prompted Mr. Senguttuvan to extend the scheme until January 31.
“It is painful to notice the growing influence of alcohol among the students. It is an evil that has potential to ruin the future of youth. We will be immensely happy if at least one student takes a conscious vow against consuming alcohol by understanding the meaning of the couplets,” says Mr. Senguttuvan, who runs an electric store, a hotel, restaurant and a few educational institutes in Karur. All of them are named after Thiruvallur.
During the life span of the Tamil poet, toddy drinking was commonplace. On seeing the pathetic life of those addicted to the habit, Thiruvalluvar dedicated an Adhikaram to Kal Unnamai. He eloquently and efficiently explained the importance of shunning liquor.
‘If anyone understands the meaning of the couplets with an open mind, he will surely say goodbye to liquor,” Mr. Senguttuvan feels.