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Centre helping border states in fighting drug menace: Union minister


Guwahati, Sept 20: Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Virendra Kumar on Monday said the Centre has been extending all possible cooperation to border states in fighting the menace of drug trade and abuse.

Setting up rehabilitation centres to help the drug users give up their addiction is a part of the fight against drugs in which his Ministry is directly involved, he said. Addressing a press conference here, Kumar said, "In border states like Rajasthan, Assam, Punjab and Sikkim, among others, the problem of drugs is a major issue. The government here (in Assam) is already fighting it and the Central government has been extending its full support."

The minister said he visited the rehabilitation centre for addicts run by the Committee on Social Economic Health Development-ICRA at Khetri on the outskirts of the city earlier in the day and interacted with inmates there.

"I met two women who have admitted their husbands there. I met young people who are deeply into drug abuse. The problem runs deep. We have to collectively fight this menace," he added.

Kumar further said the emphasis of his Ministry was on employment generation through skill development of all sections, especially 'Divyangs' (people with disabilities), transgenders and beggars. Providing equipment to 'Divyangs' to improve their mobility, like motorised tricycles, has been particularly helpful for them in exploring livelihood options, such as selling wares from their special vehicles, the minister said. He asked the state government to come up with ideas on how such vehicles can be improved so that 'Divyangs' are benefitted.

Kumar also highlighted the role of NGOs in enabling social uplift of all sections and said the functioning of such organisations are reviewed from time to time by his Ministry. The Ministry is also working for help the transgenders as well, he said.

Earlier in the day, the Union minister visited the CRCSRE (Composite Regional Centre for Skill Development, Rehabilitation and Empowerment for Persons with Disabilities) in the city and distributed motorised tricycles, smartphones, smart canes, Daisy Players and hearing aid among 'Divyang' beneficiaries.

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