The state government is committed to fight the spread of drug and alcohol abuse in the society, said K Babu, Minister for Excise. Babu was speaking after flagging off the mass run and cycle rally near Ernakulam guest house, an event organised to create awareness about perils of drug abuse and lifestyle diseases on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti. The cycle rally saw the participation of a large number of students. Dignitaries including the District Collector also took part in the rally. The NCC Naval Wing of Sacred Heart College Thevara and Naval Wing NCC Ernakulam jointly organised a programme ‘Paradigm’ on Gandhi Jayanthi. The NCC cadets spent the day with the inmates of the Government Old Age home at Thevara. Captain Simon Xavier, Group Captain Sunil kumar, Fr.Johnson Palakapillil spoke. Hibi Eden MLA inaugurated a public meeting organised at the Durbar Hall ground on the occasion of the Gandhi Jayanti. “Gandhiji taught us that a collective effort is must for the progress of the society,” Hibi said. The district collector administered anti-drug pledge to the participants. Joint Excise commissioner R K Sreekumar, Youth Welfare Board district coordinator P A Sageer, Nehru Yuva Kendra district coordinator, Information and Public Relations deputy director K S sudha and Excise Deputy Commissioner V Ajith Lal spoke. The Sabarmathi Cultural forum and the District Information office jointly organised a Gandhi film festival at the Childrens theatre. Four internationally acclaimed films on Gandhi including the one directed by Richard Attenborough were screened as part of the fest. The Khadi Board and the District Information Office will organise a painting competition for students on Saturday at the children’s theatre.