NEW DELHI: President Ram Nath Kovind said the problem of drug addiction poses a challenge to India's national security. He urged that increased vigilance is required in border states like Punjab and Manipur as increased drug abuse in the border areas is linked to terrorism and political unrest.
India's geographical location between Myanmar-Laos-Thailand's 'Golden Triangle' and Iran-Afghanistan-Pakistan's 'Golden Crescent' makes the problem of drug abuse and illicit trafficking a complicated issue to deal with, said the President. This also leads to poverty and affects the country's public welfare and developmental goals, he said.
The President was speaking at the fourth national awards ceremony for outstanding services in the field of prevention of alcoholism and substance use on the occasion of international day against drug abuse and illicit trafficking. Kovind said drug addiction, alcoholism negatively impacts an individual, the family members and multiple domains of a society like health, culture, development and politics. The President said the misuse of illegal drugs is creating health challenges for the youth and school going children. The issue can be resolved with increased awareness, prevention, incentives and strong support system. The association of parents, teachers, doctors and voluntary organisations in the medical and rehabilitation efforts is required, he said.
In the individual category, people who received awards are R C Sahni, Rajesh Tukaram Patil and L R Madhujan.
R C Sahni - Chairperson and state coordinator, Samvedna Sewa and Research Foundation Samiti, Kota, Rajasthan
Achievement: A doctor Sahni started working in the field of drug prevention in slum areas and villages from an early age. He is working as a social worker since 2001 and under his leadership, rallies and de-addiction camps have been organised in 22 districts of Rajasthan.
Rajesh Tukaram Patil - General Surgeon, Goa Medical College, Vollant Cortalim, Goa
Achievement: He has been actively working to sensitise the community members on the ill effects of alcoholism and drug addiction since 2008. He has visited 34 schools and colleges to raise awareness level through power point presentations, group discussions, flash mobs and street plays involving school students. He has also conducted awareness programmes at police stations, religious places and factories. He was felicitated by the state government in 2017.
L R Madhujan - Director and Psychologist, Karunasai De-addiction and Mental Health Research Institute, Trivandrum, Kerala
Achievement - Madhujan has directed a documentary titled 'Killing Drugs' for screening in schools and colleges. He also directed an animated film 'Heaven Home' for the Narcotics Bureau and published an awareness book 'Madyasakthi Chikilsa' for de-addiction treatment. He works closely with the grassroots and was awarded by the state government in 2013.
Other categories of awards
- Best Integrated Rehabilitation Centre for Addicts (IRCA) for providing rehabilitation services to alcoholics and drug users - Tapovan Nashamukti Evam Punarwas Sansthan in Rajasthan
- Best Panchayati Raj or Municipal Body working for prevention of alcoholism and substance (drug) abuse - Lariapali Gram Panchayat, Orissa
- Best Educational Institution doing outstanding work in awareness generation and prevention of alcoholism and substance (drug) abuse - Punjab Institute of Medical Science, Punjab
- Best Non Profit Institution with outstanding contribution in Prevention of Alcoholism and Substance (Drugs) Abuse - Nashabandi Mandal, 218, 2nd Floor, Old Custom House, Maharashtra
- Best Research or Innovation - Drug De-addiction and Treatment Centre, Chandigarh
- Best Awareness Campaign - State Literacy Mission Authority (SLMA), Bihar
Victims of drug abuse, their family members or anyone seeking counseling for drug de-addiction can reach the round-the-clock national toll free drug de-addiction helpline number at at 1800110031.