Let society speak up against drug abuse and trafficking
The other day a video clip had gone viral on social media wherein some Kashmiri youth were seen injecting some substances into their veins. The social media was flooded with reactions – angry, upset, disturbing and of all kinds. Police identified the youth and ensured that they get admitted in drug de-addiction centre. Police action is commendable and was hailed by all but fact of the matter is that drug abuse and drug trafficking has emerged as a biggest challenge in Kashmir. Police in J&K has been seizing homegrown charas and fuki besides heroin and other deadly drugs almost regularly and that is the indication how wide-spread the trafficking and the abuse is. 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. 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.
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 with 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 Kashmir are the worst enemies of Kashmiris. They may be earning money while doing so but that money is being earned at the cost of the health and lives of Kashmiri youth. It is high time that people wake up to this disaster in making and fight the battle against drug trafficking. Religious leaders, particularly the Imams of Masjids can play a vital role in fighting this battle. Every Friday, the Imams lead congregational prayers and give sermons about various issues. People listen to them, respect them and their word has an impact. Let these Imams talk about the menace during these sermons. Let them make people aware about the disastrous outcome of the menace. 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. Kashmir’s civil society too needs to wake up and make the talk of narcotics part of public discourse. The battle has to start from every household.