1. Message of Dr. D. Veerendra Heggade ( Honorable President)
I am very glad that Janajagruthi Vedike is successfully completing 25 years. It is a sign of progress that this Forum started in 1991 to eradicate bad habits like addiction to liquor has spread throughout the state. Many people joined hands for this purpose and that is how the Forum could achieve this. The path that the Forum has trodden is hard. It is almost like swimming against the flow. The Forum worked with experiments like the ban on liquor of 1996, struggle against the liquor lobby and liquor shops operating without license, awareness programmes, watchdog committees, the black day of 1996, de-addiction camps, resolve for a healthy life, healthy village and many more. It is at present working in a disciplined way with rules and regulations incorporating novel programmes as required in the context and has proved a boon to the society. There is the combined hard work of all the presidents and office bearers of the Forum, thousands of volunteers and the workers of Shree Kshetra Dharmasthala Rural Development Project behind this.
The de-addiction camps run by the Forum have shown the right direction to thousands of liquor addict families to lead a new life. Nava Jeevana Samithi of those who participated in the de-addiction camps have been formed to make them permanently free from liquor addiction and to promote saving habit among them. The proof of success of these camps can be seen in that more than 70% of those who participated in them have remained free from addiction. Community de-addiction camps are run by the local people with their whole-hearted co-operation and financial support. These camps run under the auspices of the Forum have emerged as the most popular and most needed programmes of the present society. The health- workers team of the Forum has been doing good work in this direction.
Looking at the programmes of the Forum, The Indian Psychiatric Society has honored it with the “Spandana Award” and the Karnataka Temperance Board with the “Samyama Award”.
Liquor addiction is presently wide-spread. Instead of giving priority to eradicating it, there is the glorification of liquor addiction in the society. Therefore, under the sponsor-ship of Shree Dharmasthala Manjunatheshwara Medical Trust, it is decided to inaugurate “Shree Dharmasthala Manjunatheshwara De-addiction Research Centre” at Laila, in the premises of TB Sanatorium on the occasion of the Silver Jubilee of the Forum. I wish that the larger community should get the benefit of this centre and live a happy life.
I offer my congratulations to everybody concerned on this occasion and pray Lord Manjunathaswamy to bless all.
2. State president’s Words:
The Forum has been bringing light in the lives of thousands of unfortunate families of this state for 25 years. I remember and congratulate all those who have worked in the past. Started in Belthangady Taluk, the Forum is now working in 25 districts of the state. I am proud to be the president of this Forum running under the honorary presidentship of Rev. Dr. D. Veerendra Heggade and with the blessings of Shree Manjunathaswamy. Having taken charge as the second president of the Forum form Sri K.Devadas Hebbar on 15.09. 2015, I have been enthusiastically involving myself in all the activities of the Forum. I am a B.E. Degree holder. I have worked as the vice president of Karnataka State Janatha Dal, president and director of sugar factory, director of K.M.F. Hassan, director of District Co-operative Bank Union, president of Mysore district Janajagruthi Vedike and am now working as the president of D.C.C. Bank, Hassan. Though I have 35 year’s experience in social service, the satisfaction I got as State President of the Forum during the last 5 months surpasses all. So far I have paid visits to more than 50 de-addiction camps and had discussions with the participants. Many people who were registered in the camps are now leading a peaceful life. In my native place, Arakalagudu, a new life committee of 50 people who were weaned away from liquor is very active. The Forum is working to create a healthy younger generation by giving to the students of schools and colleges a lesson of resolving to live a healthy life. More than everything, Rev. Veerendra Heggade is encouraging me when I work for this purpose. By expressing satisfaction and praise, he blesses us to work still more.
In this context, I feel happy to congratulate the Executive Director of Shree Kshetra Dharmasthala Rural Development Project (R), the Regional Directors, and my Secretary, Mr. Vivek V.Pais.They provide inspiration for my enthusiasm. I am grateful to the Project Officer Mr. Thimmayya Naik and all the staff of the Forum who conduct the camps. I remember in this context all the district presidents, district secretaries, project officers, workers, office bearers, presidents of organizing committees, health workers, co-opted members and everybody else involved.
It is my good fortune that I am elected as president during its silver jubilee year. In this context, I would like to salute Rev. Heggade, Mathrushree Amma, their family and the Honorary Advisors and declare that I will work to the best of my abilities during my period and request the co-operation of everyone for the success of this sacred task.
-Sri Satheesh Honnavalli
3. Secretary’s Report:
The only institution in the state that has formed an extensive public opinion against bad habits like liquor addiction is the Janajagruthi Vedike (People’s Awareness Forum). This Forum, under the guidance of Rev. Dr. Veerendra Heggade has been helping thousands of families addicted to alcohol during the last two and a half decades to live a life of peace.
During the last two and a half decades we have been able to reach the goal in almost all the planned programmes. Efforts have been made to conduct awareness programmes in schools and colleges to make students resolve that they will live a healthy life. In this direction, 784 resource persons have been trained. Details of the district wise achievements can be seen in the activities report. Four short documentaries have also been prepared under the guidance of Shree Heggade. Proper plans have been prepared for implementation of the plan.
Programme has been prepared to train the members of town and village panchayats to create a better and healthy community. Besides, awareness has been created through street plays, workshops and media.
Every year, delegations are being taken to the Government pressurize them not to give license to more liquor shops, not to transfer the liquor shops in towns and not to sell liquor in general stores.
The community de-addiction camps of the Forum are being conducted with the participation of local people. The Karnataka Temperance Board is also co-operating nowadays. More than 150 camps have been conducted in a year to wean away about ten thousand people from liquor and follow up programmes have been planned to look after their welfare. More than 3000 Navajeevana Samiti’s have been working in this direction. Two special de-addiction camps are being conducted every month. In these camps, dignified people from different parts of the state participate and change their minds to live a liquor- free life. These camps are special and also in great demand because Rev. Dr. D. Veerendra Heggade himself pays a visit to these camps. Treatment Team has been formed to run the camps successfully. 8 camp officers and 6 health workers are very active in running these camps. Information regarding the camp organization is given to the organizing committee. Local service organizations and medical practitioners co-operate without any remuneration. We faced no problem in organizing camps in any part of the state. If petty disturbances and confusions arise, the police co-operate with us on such occasions. The W.H.O. has declared that it is a big achievement even if 20% become de-addicted; but it is to the credit of all those who work with this Forum that 70% of those who have been treated live a liquor- free life afterwards.
The president of the Forum, Dr. D. Veerendra Heggade is the guide for all the activities. By attending the meetings of the Forum, he enthuses the office bearers to work more. Because of his special concern and guidance, the president, office bearers, workers and members of Nava Jeevan Samithi have taken this public movement as a challenge and taking it forward. The community itself bears the expenses of the de-addiction camps and awareness programmes. Those who were de-addicted through these camps, because of their respect for Dr. Heggade and devotion to the Kshetra, have started saving through the Nava Jeevan Samithi. They meet once a week, share their experiences and live a pure life. They celebrate hundred days of their liquor -free life by a visit to Shree Dharmasthala Kshetra, worship of the deity and seeking the blessings of Dr. Heggade. The Nava Jeevan Samithi are supervised by the supervisor of the Rural Development Project and service representatives (Seva Pratinidhi). District Forum, Taluk Forum, Circle and village committees and volunteers co-operate for the success of the Forum. The details of all these achievements can be seen in the ensuing pages.
On this occasion, I salute our president Dr. Veerendra Heggade and seek his blessings. I am extremely grateful to Matrushree Hemavathi Heggade and Shree D. Harshendra Kumar for their whole hearted co-operation and blessings. I also remember with gratitude our state president Sri Sathish Honnavalli, ex-president Sri Devadas Hebbar, founder president Sri Vasantha Salian, Correspondent of the Forum Dr. L.H.Manjunath, regional directors, 25 district presidents, district/taluk Forum secretaries, invitees, co-opted members, donors and all office bearers.
Our team is preparing to celebrate the silver jubilee with great enthusiasm. Dr. Heggade has given us the “Jagruthi Soudha” to conduct our activities on the occasion of the silver jubilee. This will act as a training, information and research centre for those who want to be free from addiction and who want to serve for his cause. In this institution, facilities like library and exhibition will be provided to complement scientific treatment of the problem. Arrangements will be made in such a way that the students of schools and colleges can visit the centre and get information. Programmes will be arranged to help the de-addicted people to have constant contact. There will be a helpline to maintain constant touch with the Forum.
Let us co-operate in creating a strong, healthy India and an energetic addiction free society.
-Vivek V Pais
Dharmadhikari Dr. D. Veerendra Heggade observed that the habit of drinking alcohol proves disastrous to the prosperity of the labourers. It is his opinion that any programme undertaken for the development of the common people can be successful only if the family is free from alcoholism.
“if there is a small hole in the vessel of good fortune, all the good fortune will leak away. If there is a single person in the family who is alcoholic, then the family cannot be calm and peaceful.” Realizing this truth, Shree Heggade started the movement of People’s Awareness in the year 1991. The People’s Awareness Forum was formed with like minded people of the Taluk.
People who used to sell liquor openly couldn’t digest the fact that the Forum had come into existence. The liquor menace had grown to such an extent that all women joining together were shouting slogans and agitating that ban on liquor should come into effect and that the Taluk does not need any liquor shop. Though liquor ban had come into effect, the number of drunkards did not decrease. Vested interests were manufacturing liquor illicitly and selling it without fear. The Forum had to take the task of controlling them. Observing that alcoholism cannot be controlled by banning liquor alone, the Forum paid more attention to changing the minds of alcoholics by counseling and arranging de-addiction camps. At present, the Forum organizes programmes keeping in mind awareness, motivation, changing the minds, placing demands, welfare ideas etc.
According to authentic information, there are 9700 wine shops in Karnataka and 450 MSIL liquor shops. Last year, the Govt. collected Rs. 16000 crore as taxes on liquor sale. This is said to be a record and surpassing the target. The Govt.’s practice of fixing target for excise department, liquor sale at all places, unauthorized liquor shops, distribution of liquor during elections, sale of intoxicating drugs in different concealed forms near educational institutions, advertisements promoting the use of liquor and intoxicating substances, superstitions and harmful customs, cock-fights and other anti-social activities, spurious liquor manufacturing units, intoxicating drug consumption among students—all these have become challenges for the Forum.
Ban on liquor is one of the directive principles under chapter 47 of the constitution. Though the state Govt. has the authority to ban liquor, it lacks the will to do so. The Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act of 1985 has not been effectively implemented in India. There is a provision in the Karnataka Grama Panchayat Rules and Regulations that direction can be given to village panchayats not to give license to liquor shops, shops selling intoxicating drugs, gambling houses and to any activity that is likely to cause harm to public interest, But there are instances of the Panchayat members themselves taking decision to bring liquor shops instead of preventing them. There are no instances of harsh punishments given in cases of liquor sale and tragedy resulting from illicit liquor sale. In the midst of all this, the Forum has been working effectively with the co-operation of the people and under the guidance of Dr. Heggade.
5. Administrative System of the Jana Jagruthi Vedike:
The work of People’s Awareness Forum extends all over the state of Karnataka. Respectable people from all walks of life are supporting it.
Meanwhile, efforts will be made to identify important people, build Forums and implement all the programmes planned. State level Forum in the state, district level Forums in the districts, Taluk level Forums especially in D.K. and Udupi districts, circle committees and village level committees have been formed. More than 9000 volunteers, mainly social workers, thinkers, religious leaders, doctors, journalists, advocates, political leaders, institutions, teachers and others have involved themselves in this organization.
In order to work properly, the Forum has its own bylaws, rules and regulations. The Administration has been divided into two: viz. Organization and Administration.
In the Organization of the Forum, Rev. D. Veerendra Heggade, Dharmadhikari is the Honorary President. The Executive Director of the Project is the Convener of the Forum, Regional Directors are members of the Advisory Board, all the District Directors of the Project act as the Secretaries of the Forum in the respective districts. In D.K. and Udupi districts, the Taluk Project Officers act as Taluk Secretaries, the Supervisors in these regions act as secretaries of the Circle Committes. Besides these, local religious leaders are taken as Honorary Advisors at the district/state level.
The responsibility of administration is taken by the director appointed by the project. He is also the secretary of the state Forum. He plays the major role in the implementation of the programmes of the Forum by meeting the Convener from time to time, arranging meetings of the State Forum and Advisory Board and sending appropriate circulars. Besides, he manages the central office of state Forum. He has his own Project Officer, Camp Officer, Health Workers and office staff.