GUWAHATI, May 12: Realising that illegal peddling of drugs and substance abuse is a bigger menace which the government alone cannot address overnight, the Ajmal Foundation has decided to launch a statewide mass awareness campaign on the issue.
At a press meet held at the Guwahati Press Club today, Khasrul Islam, manager, Ajmal Foundation, said, �We are deeply concerned about the growing drug menace in Assam. The rising trend of drug abuse among youth, more particularly amongst the student community is alarming.�
To start with, awareness meets will be held at about 100 institutions run in the State by Ajmal CSR organisations to sensitise the students, teachers and guardians so that they take up a pioneering role in creating an atmosphere where drug abusers and peddlers will have no place in society, added Islam.
The press meet also turned out to be an occasion where distinguished personalities from different strata of society shared their experiences and professional expertise in the field to help the organisers draw a blueprint for addressing the issue in an effective manner.
Dr Minoti Barthakur, �Positive Health Hero� award winner and motivation speaker, said that drug addiction compels a person to indulge in anti-social and illegal acts that ruin a family.
Dipankar Baruah, senior counsellor, Kripa Foundation, Guwahati, while sharing his experience, said that at one time he was himself a drug addict and had gone through all the travails and turmoil of the experience. He said, �Addiction is a disease and not habit. The treatment lies in counselling and providing an atmosphere that helps the addict to come out of the trap and indulge once again in healthy living.�
Dr Juri Talukdar, senior medical officer, Wintrobe Hospital here, was emphatic in requesting working parents to earmark a fixed time for their children. She said that it is only from depravity and loss of parental love that a large number of children are attracted towards drugs.
Pradip Thakuria, consultant psychiatrist, Guwahati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) also spoke on the occasion. He was of the opinion that a person may take to drugs for reasons beyond his control. Therefore it is important not to stigmatise an addict and make life more difficult for him.
Nava Thakuria, general secretary, Guwahati Press Club, in his deliberation said, �The mediapersons are not only reporters, they are also soldiers. You will find them by your side in the war against drug abuse.�
While all the speakers dealt with different aspects of the drug menace affecting the state, all of them stressed that adequate awareness and preventive measures should be enforced at the district level for optimum results. They exhorted the police and other law enforcing agencies to be more vigilant and take strong action against drug marketers indulged in this nuisance.