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Himachal Gyan Vigyan Samiti begins anti-drug drive

1,050 panchayats to be covered under campaign, which will continue till June 28

Himachal Gyan Vigyan Samiti begins anti-drug drive

Members of Himachal Gyan Vigyan Samiti during a workshop in Mandi.

Tribune News Service

Mandi, April 23

The Himachal Gyan Vigyan Samiti began a campaign against drug abuse in the state today. The campaign will go on till June 28.

Under the campaign, the samiti has prepared a plan to run a state-wide drive against drug abuse. For this, a two-day training workshop on the causes and effects of addiction, and prevention measures was organised at Saksharta Bhawan, Mandi, on April 21 and 22.

In the workshop, 75 master-trainers were trained. The workshop was organised by the samiti in collaboration with District Child Protection Unit (Mandi), Gunjan Sanstha (Kangra), Saksharta Samiti (Mandi) and State Resource Center (Shimla).

The workshop was inaugurated by Nela Ward, Mandi, Councillor Rajender Mohan.

He said drug addiction had emerged as a big challenge for the society and could only be eliminated with the collective efforts of the community.

Gunjan Sanstha resource person Vijay gave detailed information on the causes, side effects and various aspects of drug addiction.

District Child Protection Officer (Mandi) NR Thakur talked about the ill effects of drug addiction, importance of counselling and management methods. He also highlighted the role of voluntary organisations in prevention of drug addiction in adolescence, and sexual exploitation of children. He also spoke about the POCSO Act, the need for nutritious food and issues such as child marriage.

Himachal Gyan Vigyan Samiti state secretary Satyawan Pundir said the samiti was running a large-scale public campaign against drug abuse, for which it required the cooperation of the government, all departments, voluntary organisations and workers of all sections of the society.

He highlighted the strategy implemented by the samiti, and asked the participants to conduct workshops to make the campaign successful.

The participants were also instructed to conduct surveys at the village level.

Saksharta Samiti (Mandi) general secretary Bhim Singh said the committee would run an awareness campaign in 1,050 panchayats, under which surveys would be conducted in selected panchayats and villages.

The samiti would employ the cooperation of gram panchayats, mahila mandals, self-help groups, the local administration, social organisations, subject experts and the police administration, he added.

Samiti workers Dr Vijay Vishal, Jogender Walia, Bhupender Singh and Lalit Sharma addressed the gathering and said there was a need to adopt effective measures to prevent drug addiction and to deal with its challenges effectively. An action plan for the next three months was also presented during the workshop.

Block-level meetings would be organised in the month of May, and a survey would be started from May 31 to identify hotspots of drugs supply, the samiti workers added.

On June 28, on the occasion of Drug Prohibition Day, anti-addiction ‘save youth-save future’ rallies would be organised at the block level, according to the workers.

It was also decided during the workshop that no single person, family, community, department should be held responsible for de-addiction.

“By making it a social issue, all types of stakeholders will have to come together to stop the long supply chain of drugs and reduce, or eliminate, its demand, which is possible only with the participation of the society,” Sharma said.

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