Srinagar: A grand conference under the title ‘Depression, Rising suicides and Drug abuse’ was organized by Islamic Fraternity (IF) on Sunday at Jamia Masjid Rangtang, Kawdara in Srinagar.
Noted Islamic scholar from Bhopal Athar Khan was chief guest on the occasion, while as, President Private Schools’ Association of J&K (PSAJK), G N Var, former Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) president, Dr. Suhail Naik, Moulana Farooq Ahmad of Bazm e Tawheed and Yaqeen-ul-Haq Sikandar, a psychologist, were among the speakers who delivered speeches on drug abuse like worrying trends in Kashmir society.
Athar Khan while referring to figures revealing spike in drug abuse cases, lamented the distressing trend in Kashmir. He said that these evils were alien to Kashmir society till recently.
He said that ups and downs are part of life and people should build capacities to deal with life-altering situations. Saying that cases of suicides in very less in Islam, he said that Muslims have strong belief system which stops them from taking extreme steps like suicides.
“A good practising Muslims will never ever commit a suicide because it is haram in Islam. Moreover, a ray of hope always remains alive and well present in Muslims which helps them to pass off hard times better than the people from other religions,” he said.
Applauding the resilience of Kashmiri Muslims, he said that Indian Muslims live their lives watching struggling Kashmiris shining all over the world despite turbulent times, hardships and lack of resources.
“Every third Kashmiri I meet outside Kashmir is either enrolled for PhD at a university or planning to go for one. All the time it amazes me that how do they manage to do it. But every time it feels heart-warming,” Athar revealed.
He appealed Muslims in Kashmir to get connected with the Seerah of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and Sahaabah and ponder- how as a human being Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and Sahaabah lived their lives.
President IF, Muhammad Aamir said that the conference was organized to create awareness about the worrisome situation in valley due to surge in suicide cases and manifold rise in drug abuse cases in Kashmir.
He said that the gap between Islam and Muslims is widening which, as per him, is the primary reason behind one after other social evils in the society. To address to this grace concern, he suggested and strongly requested to the owners of private schools that they make Islamic Studies subject compulsory in private educational institutions.
He further said that there is need to create counseling cells in schools to guide and counsel misguided youths towards straight and right path.
Aamir said that doctors can also play an important role in curbing these social evils by voluntarily meeting civil society members, Islamic scholars and other respected citizens and conveying to them the strategies to eradicate the menace in society.
“This is a collective fight in making a society free of social evils. We have to work from individual to organizational level to break the chain of drug abuse in Kashmir. This grave issue needs our immediate attention,” he said.
President Private Schools’ Association of J&K (PSAJK), GN Var, who also spoke on the occasion, said that there is a well-planned chain in place which makes sure supply of drugs to the customers.
“We shouldn’t rely on the government to end this menace but take initiatives ourselves at all levels to eradicate these evils from our society. The disturbing fact is that a huge chunk of students are turning into drug addicts. We need to identify those who are ruining our students in Kashmir,” Var said.
He said that Islamic and worldly knowledge should go side by side to lay a strong base for students in schools. He thanked Aamir for taking an initiative by organizing this conference.
Yaqeen-ul-Haq Sikandar, a psychologist based in Kashmir, explained the early signs of drug abusers and ways to identify and treat them at an initial stage.
“Communication gap between parents and children has been found one of the many reasons behind involvement of children in drug addiction. We should talk to our children and listen to them. The more they express themselves the less are the chances they will fall into drug addiction,” he said.
He said that parents should also check the friend circle of their children as, he said, it is almost impossible that a child will fall into drug addiction on its own. “There must be someone, most likely a broker, who lures him (child) to drug addiction or guides him to the people or locations where he can arrange drugs to consume,” he said.
He stressed on spiritual knowledge of children saying that the practice of this knowledge will keep children away from evils like drug addiction and suicides.
He referred to various research studies conducted abroad wherein it has been found that people living a rough and religious life makes them mentally stronger than rest of the people, saying that conflict or sorrowfulness should never be an excuse to commit suicide or consume drugs.
While delivering a short speech on the above subject, former Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) president, Dr. Suhail Naik revealed shocking details about drug abuse in Kashmir.
He said that a fair number of women are involved in consumption and supply of drugs in Kashmir. “Women and girls are being used or get involved in supply of drugs to the potential customers, which is another distressing sign in Kashmir,” he said.
He suggested an iron-fist policy towards drug addiction and appealed people to not tolerate or normalise drug suppliers in their societies. “The irony and unfortunate part of our societies is that we garland drug suppliers with flowers only because he is rich. Ignoring the fact that they ruined our young generation,” Naik said.
Moulana Farooq Ahmad connected the drug abuse and suicides with less practice of religious knowledge and beliefs. He said that a person falls into despair and subsequently in other social evils when he goes astray.
“We should always stick to the rope of Almighty Allah. We should offer daily prayers and have sound belief in destiny. We should trust the plans of Allah and let Him decide the fate for us,” he emotionally appealed to the people patiently listening him in the mosque.
President Islamic Fraternity, Muhammad Aamir concluded the conference by thanking guests, speakers and the participants who had come from multiple districts of Kashmir. He said that such programs will continue till all the social evils are eradicated in Kashmir.