Shanthalli (Kodagu): A hobli (cluster of villages) in Kodagu district is making a big and bold statement by being completely liquor-free.
In a region awash in liquor shops, Shanthalli hobli, Somwarpet district, has no liquor shops, reports Vijaya Karnataka. Located 15 km away from Malalli waterfalls and 22 km away from Mandalpet, the hobli with a population of 9120 also has more women than men. Vokkaligas make up 80pc of the population.
Shantalli is surrounded by Somwarpet, Shuntikoppa, Kushalnagar, and Shaniwarsante, where liquor shops are hard to miss.
With the place blessed with natural beauty, 12 to 15 home-stays have started. If visitors want to drink, they need to travel 10 km to Somwarpet.
Shanthalli is famous for its Sri Kumara Lingeshwara jatre, which happens every year in the month of March and is attended by thousands of visitors. Apart from that, the hobli is also known for its honey farming.
AK Poovayya, a resident, said that in the 70s people used to sell arrack illegally in the region. Later, Rural Development Committee spread awareness among people and did not allow the arrack to enter the hobli. Strict regulations were made, he said.
The Dharmastala Rural Development Association focused more on the issue and created programmes to make people quit drinking.
Anil Kumar, President of Gram Panchayat, said, "For the past six years, a person was asking permission to open a liquor shop. But the gram panchayat people decided not to give permission."
So here is a village which is fulfilling Mahatma Gandhi's dream of making the country liquor-free.