Need for the government to reboot its approach towards drug menace

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Recently, we have been hearing many stories of youth from Sikkim engaging in drugs and other abusive substances. Many have been appealing the youth to get engaged in sports, music and other productive activities, so that they may not get time to indulge in unwanted activities.

Drugs have damaged our young ones and as a result, we are witnessing a gradual degradation in behavioural patterns towards their parents, teachers, friends and elders who advise them to take the right track.

Where are things going wrong? It is high time for everyone to think about it seriously instead of just blaming the victims. If this continues, then that day isn’t far when the government will be compelled to take serious action like that of the Philippines government, where the drug peddlers and consumers are both shot at sight.

A few days earlier, I was going through the medal tally of the 1st North-East Olympics 2018 held in Manipur. It was a proud moment to see that Avinash Pradhan bagged a gold medal for our state. However, sadly it was the only gold medal we could achieve. Sikkim, despite its conducive environment was listed second last in the medal tally among the 8 northeastern states, while Manipur on the other hand, despite insurgency and continued disturbance secured 1st rank with 19 gold, 13 silver and 15 bronze. Hence, this shows less engagement of youth in productive activities in our state, as a result of which the unproductive lifestyle becoming prominent.

The district headquarters are still aloof of infrastructural development, be it sports, music or any other co-curricular, as a result, youth have very limited areas to explore their talent. Most of them don’t have the courage to face the adversities and convert them into an opportunity for their better life. Instead, they take the support of drugs and finally give up to life.

A suggestion:
We all know that schools shall remain open until the end of December, it would be a great initiative if proper plans are initiated by the government to solve the present issue. For a whole year, the academics provide individual development, but the last month will prove to be a game-changer. The policymakers should make optimum utilization of this one month and come forward with some master policies for schools so that every student gets the opportunity to prove him or herself in extra-curricular activities. One big platform for such activities under one umbrella needs to be organised by the government with good financial support and further convergence with the central government schemes like:

a. “Revamped KHELO INDIA Program” Budget for 17-18, 19-20 (where 1,000 most talented young athletes each year and annual financial assistance of Rs.5 Lakhs/annum for 8 years is given in various levels)
b. “National Sports Talent Search Portal” (An application on a smartphone where a child, his parents, coach or teachers can upload their bio-data or video on the portal)
c. “JIGYASA” Scheme (Students-Scientist connect program)
d. “SAMEEP Program” Students & Ministry of External Affairs Engagement Program (where external affairs employees will go to schools and colleges to aware of foreign diplomacy)

By Diwas Hingmang (hdiwas5@gmail.com)

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