Kasangadu: This picturesque Tamil Nadu village on the banks of the Cauvery river entered its 60th year of total abstinence from tobacco and alcohol on Monday.
Following a devastating fire that reduced it to cinders, the elders of the village made every resident pledge not to touch alcohol or tobacco in any form within the village limits.
The village is situated 310 km south of Chennai in the state's rice bowl - the Cauvery delta region.
"The fire was triggered this very day in 1949 by someone who carelessly threw his smouldering cigar into the air and it landed on a thatched roof. Though no one was killed then, the shock was enough for people to take a vow of total abstinence," 63-year-old R. Somasundaram told IANS.
However, some villagers broke the rule when they went beyond its borders.
"Those who touch the items banned in our home beyond our borders return only when cleared of their intoxication. But virtually 98 percent of us don't touch the banned items," Somasundaram added.