THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: At a time when the State Excise Department has brought various measures to prevent the sale of drugs and tobacco products, a city school has come to its attention. A shop functioning near a prominent school in the capital sells drugs and tobacco products to students, upon verification of their identity cards. The Excise department has already zeroed in on the shop which functions a few metres away from the school. It was the school authorities themselves who brought the issue to the notice of the Excise Department.
"We had sent few personnel to catch them in the act. However, they were unheeded to as drug suppliers are on the lookout for students. We are still looking into the situation. Suppliers take extreme measures to hide the drugs after repeated raids," said Rishiraj Singh who was the excise commissioner until recently.
Prescription drugs are primarily aimed at students who can't afford the cost. The expensiveness of the products make it a lucrative business, thereby drawing more people to the business. "Sales around school and college premises are very common. Drugs are mixed with chewing gums to ensure easy access among kids who begin with tobacco substances.
School-level monitoring becomes difficult because parents rarely cooperate. They always defend children and refuse to get proper help. Students are even found using drugs during class hours," he said. The suppliers also keep drugs only in small quantities, which when caught is not sufficient enough as per the law, to punish them. Such loopholes in the system encourages them further.