Around 2,500 women from rural parts of Karnataka have begun 200 kilometre-march to the Vidhana Soudha in Bengaluru demanding a statewide ban on liquor.
On Sunday, women from Mandya, Mysuru, Ramanagara and Chamarajanagar, Tumakuru joined the march following a public convention at the Siddaganga Mutt.
The march is being held under the banner ‘Beer Beda Neer Beku’ by Madya Nisheda Andolana (MNA, an organisation working towards prohibition in Karnataka. The march started from Chitradurga on January 19 and has stopped in as many as 9 villages to formally interact with residents about the dangers of alcohol use. The women who are marching stayed at Kulavanahalli near Nelamangala on the outskirts of Bengaluru on Sunday and will arrive at the state capital on Wednesday.
The march includes women from as many as 23 districts and the women cover about 20 km every day.
“We began the march on January 19 and we have held several public interactions along the route from Chitradurga to Bengaluru. We want to highlight the bad influence of liquor in the everyday lives of people and are asking for an immediate ban on liquor. We are not associated with any political party,” says an activist working with the movement.
The women have been holding public meetings in the villages they pass through along the way, where they create awareness among women about the ill-effects of alcohol. The protestors have covered Kyadigere, Hosuru, Nityananda Ashrama, Javagondana Halli, Tavara Kere, Sira, Chikkanahalli, Dodda Aladama Mara Cross, CB Temple, Darga Bellavi Cross, Tumakuru, Sidda Ganga Mutt, Adi Chunchanagiri Mutt, Kulavanahalli and will be going to T. Begur, Dasanapura, Exhibition Grounds and Yeshwantpur before ending the march with a protest at Vidhana Soudha in Bengaluru on Wednesday.
Kannada writer Devanooru Mahadeva and social worker SR HIremath have also written to Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy demanding a ban on liquor.
MNA was formed in 2016 to demand prohibition in Karnataka. It is supported by 30-odd like-minded organisations across the state. Women from nearly 600 villages across Raichur district have been participating in the protest since February 20. The group previously held a relay strike involving thousands of women at Raichur in February 2018 in the lead up to the State Assembly elections in Karnataka,