Kashmir prepares schools to open front against drug abuse
Srinagar: Directorate of School Education Kashmir (DSEK) on Wednesday asked all the educational institutes to come up with anti-drug committees to aware the students.
Director School Education, Ghulam Nabi Itoo, believes that awareness programmes at the school-level would “alert” the students about the risks associated with drug-abuse and give them confidence to fight it.
“I have asked every institute, private as well as government, to form committees before March. And I do not want this to be taken lightly,” Itoo told The Kashmir Monitor.
“I want the students to be aware of the physical and mental effects of taking drugs. This is a serious issue, and it needed to be addressed.”
As per Itoo, the principal of the institutes will be heading the committees, with assistance from physical education teachers, zoology lecturers, and class monitors.
The anti-drug committees would conduct events like debates, lectures, class talks, skits, anti-drug slogans, painting competitions, seminars from experts, poster making, and events of the same kind, on the weekly or fortnightly basis as per the institute’s convenience.
According to a survey conducted by United Nations Drug Control Programme (UNDCP), till 2008, there were around 70,000 drug addicts in Kashmir division alone, including 4,000 women, of which 65% to 70% were students.
As per the government psychiatric disease hospital’s statistics, 90% abusers belong to the age group of 17 to 35 years, with a lifetime prevalence of drug addiction.
The stats say that there has been an 85% increase in the number of drug and substance abuse cases, from 410 in 2014 to 759 in 2016.
Kashmir’s noted educationist and psychologist, Dr GN Madhosh, lauded the initiative taken by the DSE and is hopeful of a “positive” outcome.
“Over the years, the numbers of drug addicts has been just increasing, and it’s sad to see that,” he said.
“Such initiatives will make the students aware from the early age, and I am sure this will tone down the wildly increasing numbers of drug consumers,” believes Madhosh.