Monday, June 17, 2024
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De-addiction – beyond admonition

– Mohammed Atherulla Shariff

A step beyond usual admonitions from the pulpit of a mosque was witnessed at Jamia Masjid, Rahmath Nagar in Bangalore last week. The rising menace of drug addiction among youths compelled the conscience keepers of the area to use Masjid platform to educate people in the developing slum like vicinity. Ironically, the densely populated old mohalla, surrounded by posh localities and several reputed educational institutions, is still dwindling in dark.

The Bangalore Development Authority, which planned the new areas, had earmarked eight public parks and gardens within a square kilometre area. The City Corporation has installed physical fitness instruments in the well-maintained parks. That apart there are a few private fitness clubs. But of what use to these wayward youths. One can take the horse to water but cannot make it drink.

The masjid authorities in collaboration with Solidarity Youth Movement have launched an intensive campaign to curb the drug menace in the area. Professional counsellors’ services are also sought who are into de-addiction services.

Welcoming the move, the local police joined hands and rounded up around twenty drug peddlers within a week. Leaders of another masjid, Bilal have also come forward to make the efforts effective. People at the helm understand that chronic diseases take time to heal. Hence, they are continuing the drive and intend to take to a logical end.

As per records made public by the Bangalore city police, apart from seizure of drugs around educational institutions, a total of 6191 cases were registered in the last six months which include 7723 Indians and 159 foreigners for peddling and consuming drugs. From the arrested, the police have recovered drugs worth Rs 117 crore amounting to about 6261 kgs, these include ganja, Hashish oil, Brown Sugar, Opium, MDMA tablets, Synthetic drugs, Ecstasy tablets and LSD strips. This seems to be mere tip of an ice burg.

Undoubtedly drug menace is a global phenomenon. Big players are involved in it. It is a multi-billion rupees business. It needs strong will, sound character and combined efforts of governmental agencies and civil society organisations; educational institutions and religious centres. Cinema and other media of entertainment should also be roped in to educate the people, especially students and youths.

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