Sensitivity, vigilance and awareness must in tackling the menace of drugs: Sukhu

While presiding over a function on the ‘International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking’ here today, Chief Minister Thakur Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu highlighted the global challenge posed by drug abuse and emphasized its severe economic and social consequences. He expressed deep concern over the increasing number of youth falling into the trap of drug addiction, as it not only negatively impacts their health and intellectual capacity.
Sh. Sukhu stressed the importance of sensitivity, vigilance, and awareness in tackling the menace of drugs. He emphasized the need for a robust infrastructure to effectively treat and rehabilitate individuals trapped in the quagmire of drug addiction.
The Chief Minister expressed concern about the sale of drugs near educational institutions, leading to the addiction of youth. He said that 400 cases were registered and over 300 people were arrested in Shimla district alone in the past six months. To combat this issue, the government has collaborated with the police department and developed a blueprint to fight drugs. A Vidhan Sabha resolution has been sent to the Union Government, seeking amendments to the Narcotics Act for strictest actions against drug peddlers, he added.
He said that the government plans to establish two drug de-addiction and rehabilitation centers in the State. About 50 bighas land near Shimla has been identified for constructing one of these centers and sufficient funds will be allocated for setting-up both centers. The Chief Minister sought public cooperation to eradicate drug menace from the society and urged people to report information about drug peddlers to the Police so that they could be nabbed in time. He highlighted the significance of NGOs and said that Gram Sabha will be held in the near future to involve all sections of society in the drug de-addiction campaign.
The Chief Minister honoured institutions and departments for their commendable contribution in combating drug addiction in the State. Awards were presented to the Deputy Commissioners of Kangra, Mandi, and Una for their outstanding efforts in their respective districts. Similarly, the Commissioner of the State Taxes and Excise Department, the Directors of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Women and Child Development, Director Health Services and Director Higher Education were also given away awards for their contributions in the campaign.
Among NGOs, Gunjan Sanstha Dharamshala, Manav Kalyan Samiti Chaupal, and the District Red Cross Society Kullu were honoured for their noteworthy work in the field of drug de-addiction.
The Chief Minister administered the oath of drug prevention to all the attendees, including those virtually connected from the districts, blocks and panchayat levels during the function held in Shimla.
Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Dr. (Col.) Dhani Ram Shandil emphasized the significance of addressing drug addiction and stressed the need for raising awareness among people. He said that drug addiction has severe physical and mental repercussions, impacting entire families. He stressed the importance of communication between parents and children to prevent drug abuse. He acknowledged the collective efforts required from all sections of society and mentioned that the department regularly organizes programs to raise public awareness about drug prevention. He asked all the sections of the society to collaborate with the government’s initiatives, to tackle the drug menace.
Secretary, Social Justice and Empowerment, M. Sudha Devi welcomed the Chief Minister and detailed about the campaign against Drug abuse conducted from June 19th to June 25th, 2023. Director Empowerment of Scheduled Castes, OBCs, Minorities Affairs and the Specially Abled (ESOMSA), Pradeep Thakur presented vote of thanks.
MLA Harish Janartha and other senior officers were also present on the occasion amongst others.

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