‘Nasha Mukt J&K’ Campaign
During the month of September this year, the Union Territory (UT) administration launched a campaign again drug trafficking and drug abuse and special awareness camps were held across J&K with a special focus on the youth. This campaign was the need of the day as not a single day passes when the local media doesn’t report about arrest of some drug peddlers somewhere in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. The frequent reportage indicates that the menace is wide spread and though the daily reports may not be attracting public eye but it undoubtedly speaks volumes about the rot that the society is face to face with. Police in J&K has been seizing homegrown charas and fuki besides heroin and other deadly drugs. Those involved in such kind of nefarious businesses are the worst enemies of the people of J&K. It goes without saying that when a place is used as a route to smuggle drugs, the people of that place, particularly the youths never remain untouched by the menace and that is why we have been witnessing growing number of drug addicts here.
In these columns, the menace of drug abuse and drug trafficking has been discussed umpteenth times, even to the extent of sounding repetitive, but the crisis in the society is so serious that it needs this repetitiveness. Those who are dealing with this gory trade are the merchants of death who need to be dealt with sternly. It is satisfactory to note that the government is working on the issue seriously and JK Police too has been working tirelessly to deal with the issue. It is because of these efforts that huge quantities of contraband drugs are being seized almost every day.
Watching daily reportage of Jammu and Kashmir based local dailies, regarding drug abuse and drug trafficking, the situation is very dangerous as drug abuse is emerging as a biggest challenge to the society with more and more people, particularly the youth, falling to this menace. Though there is no statistical data available to show the exact number of drug addicts in the Valley, reports pouring in on daily basis regarding arrests related to drug trafficking, seizure of contraband drugs, besides the records of drug de-addiction centres are enough to indicate that the problem is graver than what is being seen superficially. As reported by Kashmir Images sometime back, just five years ago about 500 people used to visit the de-addiction center of Government Medical College in Srinagar annually for treatment and rehabilitation purposes. But the number has gone, astonishingly, ten times up in past five years.
Though a lot is being written and said about the issue and the concerned government agencies are trying their best to help the addicts to overcome the menace and start their lives afresh, the menace continues to grow in size with every passing day. Fact of the matter is that drug trafficking and abuse can’t be dealt only by official machinery, few social organization and doctors alone. It needs a strong and collective response from the citizenry. People need to understand that those who grow bhang in their agricultural farms and those who pump in heroine and brown sugar into Jammu and Kashmir are the worst enemies of the people here. They may be earning money while doing so but that money is being earned at the cost of the health and lives of local youth. It is high time that people wake up to this disaster in the making and fight the battle against drug trafficking. Religious leaders, both in Kashmir and Jammu, can play a vital role in fighting this battle. The mohalla and village elders too need to play their role. As responsible citizens they should keep an eye on their respective areas and if they find someone involved in such crimes, they should take help from law enforcing agencies to stop the crime. The administration’s ‘Nasha Mukt’ campaign was a right step in right direction. Need is to continue such campaigns particularly in educational institutions so that the young generation is sensitized about the deadly menace.