THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In a statement that is likely to stir a hornet's nest, Kerala Excise minister MV Govindan on Sunday claimed that a majority of youths in the state who work in various youth and student organisations and spearhead anti-alcoholism campaigns are themselves, alcoholics.
Those who are involved in awareness campaigns should have self-awareness, Govindan said while inaugurating an event as part of the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.
The minister said a strong awareness is the need of the hour to prevent the unhealthy tendency among youths. He said that awareness should be created with utmost sincerity and the student-youth organisations could do that with conviction.
"Recently, we tried to create awareness with the help of youth organisations. But a closer look revealed that a good number of youth in the organisations are alcoholics."
He also pointed out that Kerala has become a hub of drugs. "Huge quantity of drugs reach Kerala though the sea. Recently, drugs worth Rs 1,500 crore were seized from a boat in a sea off Kochi coast, " he said.
Apart from Kerala, there are reports of drugs being smuggled by sea to neighboring states of Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra.
He said he did not expect young people to participate in the campaign against alcohol and drugs. "Although the number of alcoholics is declining, the number of alcoholics in youth and student organisations is increasing. I am not saying this with the intention of targeting anyone, " Govindan added.
He said those who take up the task of sensitizing society should first become aware of the dangers of intoxicants.
Meanwhile, reports said that special week-long programmes has been planned in Ernakulam to mark the International Day Against Drug Abuse.