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‘Dubagunta’ Rosamma dead

'Dubagunta' Rosamma  

‘Dubagunta’ Rosamma, who became famous for her key role in the anti-liquor movement in the united Andhra Pradesh in the 1990s, died in her native village Dubagunta of Kaligiri mandal in the district on Sunday. She was 93.

A small protest she had led in the village against consumption of liquor spread far and wide, and transformed into a mass movement, forcing the government in 1993 to ban arrack.

The agitation had a telling effect on the political parties, which were compelled to promise total prohibition during elections.

Born in 1923, Rosamma lived in penury as her husband died early. With two children, she struggled to make both ends meet.

With her sons taking to liquor and landing in financial problems, and touched by the way women of the village were being treated by drunk men, Rosamma decided to take the menace head-on.

Mobilising a dozen like-minded women, she confronted the persons selling liquor and forced them to close the shops.

As the news spread like wildfire, similar protests erupted across the State, which eventually transformed into a mass agitation in which women, youth, and organisations, cutting across all affiliation, took part.

Since then, Vardhineni Rosamma became famous as ‘Dubagunta’ Rosamma.

Taking the agitation forward, protestors in Kurnool confronted and stopped liquor shop auctions.

“Rosamma was a true example of women’s might and will power. The agitation triggered by her made the former Chief Minister, N.T. Rama Rao, put his first signature on the file pertaining to total prohibition in 1995,” said Korem Praveen, a youth activist and president of Nestham Foundation.

As her health failed, Rosamma underwent treatment for some time at Nellore Nursing Home. She had to undergo dialysis regularly for the last two years

The agitation she had led forced the NTR government to impose total prohibition in 1995