Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Story of FAITH - Alcohol and Dharmastala

After my previous strory on FAITH, here comes another one.

Dharmastala is a very sacred place for the people of the coastal region in Karnataka. The deity is supposed be very powerful. Family disputes are resolved in this place by the Dharmadhikari - Dr Veerendra Heggade. Land disputes get solved. People do not lie in front of the Dharmadhikari, fearing the wrath of the diety. It is also belived that stealing in this place would result in something bad for the family. This is the FAITH in the deity.

Few words about Dr Veerendra Heggade
Dr Veerendra Heggade needs no introduction to the people of Karnataka. He is the head of the Dharmastala khsetra. He is a non-polical person with immense intention to serve the society. You can read about how he has served the society by just googling him.

Alcohol is a pain in the development of rural India. Many farmers,factory workers, fishermen of my native village are addicted to drinking. Some quit drinking for some days, but hit the bottle when money comes in their pocket. Ladies and gentlemen together drink the cheap arrack. There was an earlier instance when I had heard that the farm workers quit alcohol. But that was temporary. With increased wages and govt rural employment schemes, money is being flooded into the bars.

My grandma's maid servant's family was adversely affected by alcohol. Maid's son hit the bottle full-time when he started earning. He stopped giving money to the family. His wife started working. He stole from his wife all the jewelery and spent it on the bottle. He started beating his wife and mother for money. A tragic incident occurred with his wife when she was pregnant. Wife was injured in one of the thrashing evenings. They lost the baby (not entirely because of the injury though). He realized the pains of alcohol. He tried to quit. But friends and money dragged him back to the bar.

One fine day he decided to attend one of "Quit alcohol camps" organized by Dr Heggade's trust. He also coaxed some of his drunkard friends to join this camp. Dr Heggade has been organizing such camps all over the Udupi, Mangalore, Dakshina Kannada, Shivamogga region since sometime. One such camp was held closer my place, Kundapura. The 11 day camp is free of cost. The mentors explain them the harmful health\social aspects alcohol. They also bring in real life tragedy stories from the participants\ex-participants. Doctors give lectures. Free food is served for the participants during the camp. Basically its targeted at the rural poor.

But you would say all this is common across every "quit alcohol camps" organized by other associations. Yes, you are correct. People may hit the bottle after such camps. Yes, you are also correct of this.

But what if you bring in the FAITH aspect. At the end of the camp, the participants are brought in front of the deity and asked to promise that they would never again drink alcohol. All the friends of this guy and this guy himself have quit drinking. Since 3 yrs.

As long as FAITH is doing no harm, just have FAITH.
Some may call it fear...


Anonymous said...

Title it - Full Faith fundas (fff)

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