The Seminar on "Community Participation in Control of Drug Abuse and Rehabilitation of Drug Addicts" was started at 10.30 A.M in the auditorium of Saheed Bhawan, Cuttack. This Programme was jointly organized by Cuttack District Police & PROJECT SWARAJYA, an NGO to observe Anti- Drug Day.
In this Seminar the Chief Guest was Mr. Nimain Charan Padhi IPS, D.G, Orissa Police. Mr. Debasish Panigrahi IPS S.P. of Cuttack presided over the seminar. Dr.Gopal Chandra Kar a Psychiatrist, Principal of SCB Medical College and Hospital, Cuttack , Dr.Rajendra Prasad Sharma IPS, DIG Central Range, Cuttack, Mr Shyam Sundar Das the Sarvodaya leader and President of CLAP, Mr Bidya Bhusan Mohanty I.P.S. Addl. DG Orissa Police, D r.Minakhi Panda, Lecturer of Cuttack City College and Mrs.Dolli Dash Secretary of Project Swarajya were among others who spoke in the Seminar. Several Social Workers, police officials of Cuttack & Baranga, local Sahi leaders and recovered addicts of Cuttack City along with media persons participated in the Seminar.
The Secretary of Project Swarajya Mrs.Dolli Dash welcomed all the invited guests and the participants. The Chief Guest Mr. Nimain Charan Padhi IPS, D.G, Orissa Police inaugurated the Programme. Then the Project Director of Project Swarajya Ms. Rukshana Khan gave a vivid description of the work of Project Swarajya especially in relation to prevention of drug abuse and alcoholism in her report presented in the Seminar.
The Chief Guest in his speech while speaking about the menace of drug Abuse and illicit drug trafficking in our society, observed that in Orissa alone above 40 lakhs of people were drug addicts. Drugs like Brown Sugar, Opium, Ganja etc are being imported illegally from other countries to our country by the drug lords and these countries are Pakistan, Afghanistan, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Nepal. In these countries the people have been eking out their livelihoods mostly by cultivating opium. They are literally minting money since the prices of drugs are skyrocketing day by day. Such a huge profit they can't imagine to earn from the cultivation of paddy, wheat and other cash crops. In our country farmers have to obtain licenses legally for the cultivation of opium. The government has now granted permissions to 1,33,409 persons to cultivate opium for medicinal purpose. But the illegal drugs are always available in the open market due to lack of proper enforcement by the concerned authorities. Drug abuse is responsible for the disturbances in the family and as well in the society. Illicit drug trafficking also affects the economic system of our country since it generates black money. The role of the community organizations and NGOs is very important in respect of de-addicting the addicts and in saving the society from the drug menace.
There is a place in Orissa called Chhatia 40 km from Cuttack, which is the main hub of the drug traffickers. In Orissa the villagers of Malkanagiri, Nabrangpur and Gajapati districts are slyly cultivating illicit Ganja. The police managed to arrest only 800 persons on the charge of cultivating Ganja and 35 drug traffickers since the last five years.
The Chief Guest also distributed prizes to the winning students in Essay Competition on the topic "Impact of drug in Cuttack City", which was held in the auditorium of Project Swarajya at Cuttack.
Dr. Gopal Chandra Kar, Psychiatrist and Principal, S.C.B. Medical College and Hospital, Cuttack said in his speech that many youths are now being attracted to drugs due to their rising mental tension. He said that about 100 nos. of patients are coming for mental treatment everyday, out of them 18 persons are drug addicts. He told that there should be a special unit set up, where people could come regularly for counseling. Our people are not so aware like the westerners, who could come for counseling before facing the actual mental crisis. So many drug addicts consider it as a social stigma to be treated in the hospitals and Drug Deaddiction Centres. As a result, they become more and more addicted and even after treatment relapse frequently. Some social organisations like Project Swarajya and institutions like S.C.B. Medical College Cuttack are working for de-addiction of patients in Cuttack District.
Sri Shayam Sundar Das, a Gandhian and Sarvodaya leader said that now-a-days the addiction is the worst illness of our society and it has been spreading its tentacles throughout the nation and the world. He said that before Independence Gandhiji thought about the danger of addiction and warned the nation to cure the addicts so that it does not disturb the society at large.
Dr R.P .Sharma IPS said, addiction is one of the main causes for the skyrocketing of the crime graph in our society. In 1987 at Viena the United Nations Conference and in 1988 the Ajawn Conference the bill was passed to de-addict the world. There are 20 crores of people who are taking drugs throughout the globe. For de-addiction the role of NGOs is very important. Dr.Sharma vividly explained some of the provisions of the Narcotic Drugs & Psychotropic Substances Act. He suggested that the NGOs and social activists should involve the local communities in the drug abuse prevention proramme.
Dr.Minakhi Panda, Lecturer in City Women's College, Cuttack said how women could play an important role to de addict their relations. She told that when a parent lose control over the child then the child seeks an alternative association apart the parent. Relapse cases are happening more due to huge generational gap between parents and children. After recovery an addict comes back to his family. But the role of family should be such as to prevent relapse. The attitude of family members should be positive towards a recovered addict.
Mr.B.B.Mohanty former I.G. Prisons and presently Addl D.G. Orissa Police expressed his emotional feeling about the addict inmates of jail, while he was working among the prisoners of jail in Orissa as I.G. Prisons. He told that all the jails are over loaded due to lack of rehabilitation programme, employment and faulty policies of the government. So social workers should come ahead and give memorandum to the government in this regard. After being released from jail an under-trial prisoner again commits crime. Most of the crimes are drug related. While expressing his involvement with the addict inmates of jails he gave examples of Puri and Choudwar Circle Jail as to how the addict inmates were not only abusers of drugs, they seemed to be incorrigible from that position. To take drugs is so to say is the only path for them in the face of an adverse environment. He spoke on his wide experience about the life-convict addict prisoners of Choudwar Circle Jail, who were under treatment in the Deaddiction Centre of Project Swarajya.
Sri Dola Gobinda Rout, Secretary of Chhatra Bazar Area said, the local people must take a pivotal role to prevent drug abuse in their respective areas. Sri Bata Krusna Naik, Secretary of Madhupatana Area said, the role of Project Swarajya is very much important in the present society to deaddict the addicts. Sri Bata Krusna Behera, Secretary of Alisa Bazar Puja Committee said that more awareness programmes must be organized to help the people about the danger of drugs. Sri Lalit Kumar Mishra, Convenor of Cuttack Zilla NGO Coordination Committee said that lack of proper communication between different segments of population is the main reason behind the ongoing disorder in our society.
The President of the Seminar Sri Debashish Panigrahi, IPS Superintendent of Police Cuttack said in his speech that due to addiction the crime rate is fast increasing day by day. Many families are being ruined due to addiction. The community leaders should resist the of the open peddling of drugs in their community. The participation of community should be encouraged in the drug abuse prevention programme. Cuttack District Police shall provide all the support to keep Cuttack free from drugs as much as possible.
At the end of the Seminar the Vice President of Project Swarajya Mrs Nirupama Jena extended a hearty gratitude on behalf of the Organisation to all the guests, participants and volunteers for the success of the programme.
= REPORTED BY- BIBHU PRASAD SATPATHY & RAJESH KUMAR BARIK =
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