THINGS/YOUTH IN THE FOREFRONT

DR. PRITPAL KAUR, IPS, Superintendent of Police, Noklak, Nagaland, on the need for youth-related initiatives.

1. On teaching the local Naga youth

We are working towards eradicating community concerns. I’ve been imparting free coaching for civil services aspirants here. The frontier district coaching classes for various departmental exams are taken at the SP office conference hall. Students everywhere deserve equal opportunities; hence, we try to prepare them for different departmental exams like UPSC/NPSC/SSC/CAPF/Bank exams/State-level departmental exams. Empowered students make for an empowered society.

2. Counselling for substance abuse

We make sure to impose stringent check on alcohol consumption and drug abuse among the youth in the State. For many youngsters, getting a State job is a way out of poverty and prevents them from falling prey to anti-social activities like drugs. We’ve been conducting anti-narcotics campaigns across schools and colleges here. Using my medical training to treat drug addicts, and a combination of opi­oid substitution treatment (OST) and counsel­ling – by involving the community, NGO and church leaders, is one of my top priorities.

3. Educating locals on agri-entrepreneurship

In collaboration with the Department of Agriculture, the local OST centre, Khiamniun­gan Baptist Church, and Khiamniungan Tribal Council, the Noklak Police organised a series of seminars in September last year, where we taught apiculture, organic farming, and vermicomposting to many addicts undergoing treatment. We are also teaching scientific farming. Moreover, being a Punjabi, I am also fond of farming, so, I decided to help out farmers in this pandemic time.

4. Working in a remote Northeastern district

The district is mainly inhabited by the Khiamni­ungan tribe. Noklak lacks basic infrastructure and facilities. Rampant underdevelopment, proliferation of synthetic drugs, HIV-AIDS, and a long-running insurgency has marred the place for too long. We plan on working on these issues with proper law and order execution.

5. Noklak being a sensitive district

Noklak is the youngest district of Nagaland, and shares international borders with Myanmar, and is, perhaps, the remotest district in the country. It lacks infrastructure, and is also porous for illegal substances, insurgency, drugs, HIV-AIDS, etc. We are working on curbing these menaces with full force.

(As told to Joyshree Baruah)