THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: 92.7 Big FM launched the fifth edition of their campaign against drug abuse titled ‘Vande Keralam - Season 5’ during a function held at the Shangumugham Beach here on Sunday.
In the presence of Rajya Sabha MP Suresh Gopi and Archbishop Soosapakiam, District Collector Biju Prabhakar symbolically handcuffed RJ ‘Kidilam’ Firoz who will lead the sound protest against drug abuse for five consecutive days starting August 9.
Firoz will start his RJ marathon from a jail in the Martyrs’ Column in Palayam on Tuesday in the presence of Excise Commissioner Rishiraj Singh. The protest will continue until at least 927 people take an oath to renounce drugs, the organisers said.
Talking at the curtain raiser event, the Collector praised the initiative. “When people try their best to stay away from prison, here is a man who has come forward to go to jail for a good cause,” Biju said.
“We know that Punjab is the state that has a drug problem. But it comes as a shock that Kerala is not far behind in the list,” the Collector said. “The district administration has taken steps to curb the usage, but there is a need for campaigns like this,” he said.
Soosapakiam, meanwhile, said that use of drugs and alcohol is a glitch to the otherwise good image that Kerala projects of itself. “When Mother Teresa was asked what the goal of a life is, she said it is to do something good for the mankind. I think this is such an initiative,” he said.
“The use of alcohol among people below 25 years has increased tenfold during the past decade. The liquor policy of the previous government had brought down its sales by 22 per cent and whoever was behind the policy, I can’t thank enough,” he said urging the LDF government to continue the work.
“Drug abuse is a complicated issue and therefore, the solution for it is also complicated,” he commented.
Meanwhile, Suresh Gopi, who is also the brand ambassador of the campaign, said the ban on sale alcohol has only forced people to look for alternatives. “These are even more harmful to the users,” he said.
“Privatising every other sector, our government has been doing what no government should be doing - selling alcohol. Every child has a responsibility not just to the family he is born into but to the country and we should fight against whatever that curtails it,” the actor-turned-politician said.
A mass pledge taking ceremony followed by a performance from Vibhag music band was held as part of the curtain raiser.
Vande Keralam campaign by Big FM was launched in 2008 and the fourth season of the campaign had helped 1,122 people give up the habit of drug and alcohol use, according to the organisers.