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Experts suggest ‘effective communication, religious counselling’ to fight drug abuse

Hirra Azmat

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Srinagar, Jun 29: Given the grim scenario of drug abuse, Valley-based experts have come up with suggestions to tackle the growing menace. Over the last few years, the Valley has seen an alarming rise in the incidence of substance abuse especially among the youngsters. Data shows an 85% increase in the number of drug and substance abuse cases since 2014. In order to sensitize people about the ill-effects of drug-addiction, the “Centre for youth Development”, a non-government organization (NGO) in collaboration with J&K Bank, have published a handbook on “Drug Abuse Prevention”. The booklet draws on the behavioral, physical, and psychological impact incurred with substance abuse coupled with expert opinions including Dr. Muzaffar Khan (Director Drug De-Addiction Center PCR) and Prof. Arshad Hussain (Department of Psychiatry GMC Srinagar). Experts point out that commonly used substances used in Srinagar and their side effects. “Smoking tobacco and smokeless tobacco are both carriers of the highly addictive drug called nicotine. Individuals who routinely devour nicotine and after that abruptly stop encounter withdrawal side effects, which may include: longings, a feeling of void, tension, trouble in centering or focusing,” the booklet reads. Another commonly used drug in youth is Cannabis. “Cannabis affects brain development. When people begin using cannabis as teenagers, the drug may impair thinking, memory and learning functions,” it reads. It stress on the role of parents in identifying the symptoms of drug abuse, understanding the changes, and the ways to develop an effective communication with children. “Ensure you put aside time to go through with your children. Appreciate their interests and build up a routine for getting things done with them,” experts have suggested. They have urged the parents to become keen listeners. “Demonstrating that you’re arranged and willing to listen will enable your children to feel greater about tuning in to you. Amid a discussion make an effort not to intrude on them or respond in a way that will stop whatever you’re examining,” the booklet points out suggestions from experts. In the booklet, experts have suggested on being honest with children, keeping calm and practicing patience, avoiding conflict and discussing the risk factors. Experts believe that religious counselling could play a pivotal role in fighting drug abuse.


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Disputes, lack of funds keep grid stations projects in limbo

Mudassir Kuloo

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Srinagar, May 18: Lack of funds and land disputes over towers have been delaying the completion of several grid stations in Kashmir.
There are several grid stations over which works have been started years ago. However, they are facing inordinate delay due to non-completion of construction of transmission towers, and laying of transmission lines.
One such project is Alastang grid station in Ganderbal district, on which work was started nine years ago.
“Although the work on Alastang grid station has been completed, the authorities have failed to resolve the land dispute for setting up towers over the years and connect Alastang with Zainakote grid. Presently this grid station is non-operational,” an official said.
He added that there is an immense load on Pampore and Zainakote power grids from where electricity is being supplied to Srinagar, Ganderbal, and Pulwama districts.
“Ganderbal gets electricity from Zainakote grid station and mostly remains overloaded,” the official said.
“Had the Alastang grid station been completed, it would have reduced the load on two existing power grids and helped the state to upgrade the power supply in the valley,” he added.
Similarly, an official document reveals that construction of grid station at Ahmedpora in Magam too has been put on hold.
“The work will be started as soon as the funds are released,” the document reads.
Completion of other grid stations at Lassipora Pulwama is also facing delay due to lack of funds or government’s failure in resolving the land disputes over towers.
The official said that existing transformers and power lines are also in bad shape. “There are technical snags in electricity due to poor power infrastructure,” the official added.
In a recent meeting, the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Baseer Ahmad Khan directed for effective monitoring of ongoing works on grid stations and strict adherence to the design, drawing and specifications, and use of quality material for creation of durable assets. He has directed the concerned authorities to submit a proposal for arrangements of funds.
“Chief Engineer System and Operations PDD has been directed to pursue the matter with the concerned authorities for release of funds,” a source privy to the meeting said.

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Offices of 12 militant organisations operating from PaK sealed, funding stopped

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Srinagar, May 18: The offices of the 12 Kashmiri militant organizations operating from the Pakistan Administered Kashmir (PaK) have been sealed, reported the newspaper Independent Urdu.
The newspaper reported that offices of all 12 organizations affiliated with the United Jihad Council were sealed, while as, the amount of office expenditure in these organizations has also been completely stopped.
Independent Urdu reported that the action has come in the backdrop of mounting pressure by the Financial Action Task Force or FATF.
This is the first time in last 32 years of militancy in Jammu and Kashmir that Pakistan has sealed the offices and also stopped financial assistance.
Recently, Pakistan took 44 members of proscribed organizations, including Mufti Abdul Raoof and Hamad Azhar — the former believed to be the brother of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) leader Masood Azhar and the latter his son — in preventive detention for investigation.

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Ronaldo donates $1.5 million to fasting Gazans: Report

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Srinagar, May 18: Cristiano Ronaldo has donated $1.5 million to feed people in the besieged Gaza Strip, Palestine, against the backdrop of the holy month of Ramadan, Sputnik News reported.
The Portuguese football star has never hid the fact that he is pro-Palestine, expressing his support for Palestinians several times in the past.
In 2012 the 28-year-old star gave away his Golden Boot Award to the Real Madrid foundation, which subsequently auctioned it off to raise money for building schools in Palestine.
In 2013, he refused to swipe t-shirts with an Israeli player in a display of support for Palestinian rights.
Although he did shake hands, he excused himself by explaining that he could not wear a shirt with that country’s flag, press reported.
The incident occurred at the end of the match between Portugal and Israel for the 2014 World Cup qualifiers.
A 5-year-old boy Ahmad Daubasha — sole survivor of a Palestinian family attacked by Israeli settlers, was received by Ronaldo in 2016 at the Real Madrid training center, where he photographed himself with the boy, giving him a specially-dedicated t-shirt. The Gaza Strip has been under Israeli land, air and sea blockade since June 2007, greatly impacting living standards, levels of unemployment and increasing poverty.
Palestinians have held weekly rallies along the Gaza border to protest the siege on the enclave and demand the right for refugees to return to their homes they fled during the 1948 creation of Israel.
Pro-Palestinian celebrities range from longtime activists to musicians to younger stars, calling for boycotts of artistic and scientific gatherings, divestment from Israeli businesses, etc.
The Portuguese star is known as one of the most involved in humanitarian work around the world.

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