Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Dr. Virendra Singh today presided over an award ceremony of the Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan at Sher-i-Kashmir International Convention Centre.
The ceremony was held to felicitate individuals and officials for their contributions towards making the country drug-free. It was organized by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MoSJE), Government of India in collaboration with the Department of Social Welfare, Government of Jammu and Kashmir.
Speaking on the occasion, the Minister said that the cooperation of common people is of paramount importance and the dream of a drug-free India cannot be achieved by a single ministry or department alone. He congratulated all stakeholders associated with the mission and said that the ten districts of Jammu and Kashmir selected under the campaign have shown very good and promising results so far.
Dr. Singh said that drug abuse is a grave issue that the country is faced with and asserted that with the support of all concerned quarters, the problem is being addressed.
Saying that drug abuse is a problem that affects not only individuals but entire families and the society at large, the Minister thanked all those who are putting in their efforts to bring people, especially youth out of the menace of substance abuse.
Joint Secretary MoSJE Smt Radhika Chakravarty earlier gave a brief overview of the Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan. She said that there was no official data about substance abuse available in the country before 2019 and it was then that the government decided to carry out a survey to understand the gravity of the problem. She revealed that over 6 crore people are involved in substance abuse in the country and out of them, more than 1.2 crores are children under the age of 18. She said that these disturbing figures led to the launch of the Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan by MoSJE.
Addressing the gathering through video conferencing, Lt. Governor J&K Sh Manoj Sinha said that with the support of the Government of India, Jammu and Kashmir has been able to make considerable progress towards making Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan a success. He thanked all stakeholders for their efforts towards ensuring a drug-free society.
A booklet documenting the efforts and work of various departments towards ensuring a drug-free society was also released on the occasion.
The categories in which the awards were presented include Rehabilitated Youth, Volunteers, NGOs, Colleges, Schools, Master Volunteers, District Social Welfare Officers, and Deputy Commissioners.