By: Aafreen Mushtaq
o comprehend the problem of drug abuse we need to focus on some of its related points. The word used for Kashmir was “Pirr Waer” which has completely lost its identity now. Nowadays we daily witness the dreadful incidents like suicide and drug abuse is one the most address needed issue. I being in my tender age that I am a tenth standard student fully understands the fate of drug use then why not those who have crossed their teenage and are mature. Today in this piece I will try to flourish some ideas to curb this cataclysmic.
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 issue. It is because of these efforts that huge quantities of contraband drugs are being seized almost every day. While entire society besides the administration is presently focused on containing the spread of Covid-19, and genuinely so, the issue of drug abuse too needs to be addressed side by side to save the Kashmir society, particularly the youth.
Watching daily reportage of 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 Kashmir society as more and more people, particularly the youth, are 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 seen superficially. As reported sometime back, just five years ago about 500 people used to visit the de-addiction centre of Government Medical College in Srinagar annually for treatment and rehabilitation.
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purposes. But the number has gone, astonishingly, ten times up in the past five years. Furthermore, the official figures suggest that more than two thousand drug addicts visited the Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (IMHANS) for treatment, detoxification, and rehabilitation purposes from April to November last year. Fact of the matter is that the numbers could be much higher than what are available officially for the simple reason that only a small percentage of such addicts open up publicly and decide to go for de-addiction. 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 with only with official machinery, few social organizations 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 fighting 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.
Writer is class 10th student and can be reached at Aafreen12@gmail.com