Pakyong, June 26 (IPR): The Narcotics Division under Sikkim Excise Division, Government of Sikkim, in coordination with the Health Department and DAC, Pakyong organised an Anti-Drugs Awareness Programme, today on the theme “Share Drug Facts, Save Lives”, on the eve of International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking at Panchayat Bhawan, Pakyong, in collaboration with SARATHI Organisation and Sikkim Educational Society under the aegis of Nasha Mukta Abhiyan.
Shri Em Prasad Sharma graced the occasion as the Chief Guest and Chairman Shri Ganza Bhutia was the guest of honour.
The programme embarked with a rally from St. Xavier’s School to Panchayat Bhawan, Pakyong
The objective of the programme was to sensitize everyone about the effects of drugs in the personal and social spheres of human life.
The programme included a vibrant and colourful display of talent in the form of song and dance performances.
Additional SP, Shri Rinzing Chopel Rai, in his speech gave a brief history of Anti-Drugs Awareness which began in 1979. He talked about measures taken by the Police to curb the menace of drug addiction in our society. He appreciated the attitudinal change in our society towards drug addicts which is no longer considered a crime. He also gave a brief history of SADA in the state of Sikkim. In the end, he said that everyone has a choice to choose between drug addiction and clean living despite the circumstances taking place in our life.
Addiction Medicine Specialist, Singtam Hospital, Dr. Satish Rasaily in his address said that the only way to control drug addiction is to reform, educate and sensitize with coordinated efforts from line departments and the family members of the addict. He gave statistics about various drugs and apprised everyone about the rise of the use of brown sugar drugs in the State in recent times which is leading to crime and economic crisis in families and the communities where it is distributed.
He talked about the economical and social effects caused by drugs in the State. He informed everyone about the use of expensive drugs like brown sugar which is leading to an economic crisis in the families of the user. Further, he said that various services to drug addicts are now available in district hospitals, CHC and PHCs. He concluded his speech by giving the message to accept addiction as a disease just like non-communicable diseases like Cancer, Diabetes and Hypertension.
Motivational speaker Shri Premius Bhutia from Darjeeling shared his testimony about his struggles as an alcoholic and drug user for 36 years and how he overcame the addiction. He encouraged the youth to avoid drugs and requested addicts to come forward as the State has facilities to deal with it. He appreciated the work of Pakyong Police and line departments in dealing with drug addiction and hoped that Pakyong will one day be a nasha mukta district.
Secretary, Excise Department, Shri Tshering Namgyal Bhutia, said that today drug has become an international concern and it has destroyed thousands of individuals and their families. He requested everyone that three things are needed to fight drug abuse and they are awareness, motivation and will power. He ended his speech by requesting youth to be motivated, aware and have the will power to avoid drugs.
Chairman, Excise Department, Shri Ganza Bhutia, in his short address, said that counselling and awareness among young children about drugs is an important step towards curbing drug addiction. He hoped that Pakyong would be the first Nasha Mukta district in the State.
Area MLA, Shri Em Prasad Sharma, in his address said that drug abuse is of serious concern to the people of the State. He requested the youth to avoid drugs at all costs and advised the addicts to turn to rehab centres. In this context, he assured the victims of drug abuse that he will leave no stone unturned to assist them in their recovery. Further, he said that there should be coordination between line departments, NGOs, the public, drivers and schools to make Pakyong a drug-free district. He highlighted measures taken by line departments to curb drug trafficking in the district and hoped that drug cases would decrease due to these efforts.
During the programme, the anti-drugs pledge was administered by Sub-Inspector, Excise Department, Shri Dinesh Siwakoti.
The dignitaries present in the programme Advisor Food and Civil Supplies-Shri Inchun Bhutia, Shri. Tshering Bhutia, D.C Pakyong, SDM (HQ), SDM Pakyong, Chairmans, Advisor Shri Tshering Bhutia, Assistant Commissioner(Narcotics) Smt. Tenzin Keyzom Bhutia, Deputy Director (Excise Department) Smt. Prakriti Pradhan, SDPO Pakyong- Shri Pradeep Chettri, Panchayat members, representatives from SARATHI, representatives from rehab centres, police personnel, students and the general public.