JOWAI, Feb 10: Rome was not built in one day. So also a social menace as complicated and sensitive as drug abuse cannot be eradicated at one go. Years of study and research into the behaviour of addicts and the pattern used by drug smugglers to boost the market to the extent of home delivery will only solve one half of the problem.
A different approach to tackle this manner is needed to ensure that the efforts to maintain societal balance are well received and accepted.
With this thought in mind, the Anti Narcotic Cell (ANC) of West Jaintia Hills under the leadership of its Superintendent of Police R Muthu, came up with a brilliant idea to engage the youth in sporting activities, diverting their attentions from drugs and other social ills to a more-society friendly activity.
For the first time ever in Jowai, an initiative as vibrant as the ‘Positive Addiction Campaign’ has been organised with the theme – “Life can take you higher than drugs”. It is a two day event – Feb 10 & 11, which encompasses many activities like Futsal, Auto Expo, Food Court, Music, Games and others.
The event witnessed the participants of many young chaps from Jowai and beyond who displayed their interest and enthusiasm while appreciating such initiative adding that similar events need to be introduced in the district to engage the youth more often.
Speaking to TNT-The Northeast Today, the brain behind the event, Arki Wahlang from the ANC expressed hope that such events will bring the youth in the right path. “1-2 hours lecture on the ill effects of drugs is not enough, much more needed to be done in order to curb this menace,” he said.
Wahlang maintained that this event is a youth-oriented awareness programme organised with an intention to send a strong message across to the society, the main target being the youth, in respect to the societal damage drugs has not only on the drug addict but the society as a whole.
Considering the fact that Drug abuse is very high in the district, Wahlang said “I believe this is one such friendly initiative to combat the spread of this menace.”
It was also informed that as many as 10 volunteers who assisted the police in this venture are none other than recovering drug addicts.
Meanwhile, DSP of the district Neena Rabha informed that the state police has taken the onus upon itself to help bring a change in the society with the collaboration of various stakeholders. “Such initiatives will further enhance the police-public relation,” she maintained.
TNT also interacted with some of the youths who attended the event and this is what they have to say.
Trebok Talang (Student of Government Boys’ HS School, Jowai): Such campaigns will help to some extend bring the drug addicts to come out in the open and join the campaign. It is one way to tackle this menace in our district, the same of which has affected many lives in the previous years.
Sanki Pyrtuh (Student of Government Boys’ HS School, Jowai): The ANC has done a tremendous job because I feel that this is one way to help addicts to come forward. Such events will help send a message to the youth to be wary and careful when it comes to drugs.
Emitre Papeng (14 year old student): This young footballer is of the view that such events will help engage the youth in light and healthy activities.
Damon-mi H Nongjngi (13) and Samkupar Langki Passah (13): While appreciating the police’s soft approach against drug abuse, these these young chaps said that such events not only help creating positive impact on the lives of the drug addicts but also they provide a good platform for young footballers like them to test and expose their skills in various sporting activities.
“We are looking forward to organise similar events in the future as we see that this initiative is doing its job in attracting many youth to the sporting forum,” SI Pradeep Das said.
It may be mentioned that only nabbing and punishing the drug peddlers is not enough to tackle the menace. The involvement and inclusion of young minds in synergy with active support from the community as well as from people of various walks of life plays an important role in combating an issue as complex as Drug abuse.