Andaman Chronicle

The Daily Diary of the Islands

Social Welfare Department on War footing to Eradicate Drug Menace from the Islands

142 Schools, School Drop Outs, Tuition Centres, Dysfunctional Families to be Counselled: Neha Bansal

Report: Maria Sheela

Port Blair, July 12:  With an aim to eradicate the drug menace in the islands, especially among school going children and dropouts and dysfunctional families, the Department of Social Welfare, A&N Administration is conducting an Anti-Drug awareness campaign in 142 schools across the islands starting from 8th July 2019 – February 2020. The programmes are being organized in collaboration with the Department of Art & Culture, said Ms Neha Bansal, IAS, Secretary, Social Welfare today.

The Social Welfare Department has also started helpline numbers and have involved prominent NOGs, Health Department, Police Department and Education Department for this campaign. “We are also reaching out to religious leaders to disseminate the message apart from preparing booklets for students, teachers and parents with the help of NGOs who have volunteered to assist”, said Bansal.

“There will be Training of Trainers and we will be establishing Counselling Centres across the islands. The helpline numbers are 8900979165, 8900979155, 1098 and 3195”, Bansal added.   

Neha Bansal also appealed to all the private Tuition Centres to keep a watch on the students attending their Centres.

The Anti Drug Committee of Directorate of Social Welfare conducted one such awareness program in the premises of Carmel school today. Resource persons from various firms came in to spread the awareness of drug abuse amongst the students.

Clinical Psychologist Ms. Hemlatha spoke on the ill effects of drugs, how one can be affected physically and mentally if they fall prey for these substance abuses.

Sub Inspector Sujit Bhattacharya spoke on the legal aspects and also on how drugs can end one's whole career and life as well.

Mrs. Rubina Siddique, President of the NGO ‘Rights for All’ spoke on peer pressure and how one should learn to say NO when needed. Principal of school Sr. Hazel welcomed the gathering.

Earlier Sr. Hazel AC, Principal of the School had welcomed the gathering of resource persons, Carmel Alumni members, students and thanked the Social Welfare Department for such an initiative.

Later the Alumni Member had an interactive session with the students wherein they narrated their experiences and appealed to the students to stay alert and not to fall prey to Drugs. A pledge was also taken by the students to stop the menace of drug abuse. A signature campaign was also conducted, wherein all the students present signed. 

The programme concluded with a vote of thanks by Denis Giles, a Alumni member.