The state government is committed to check the smuggling and misuse of intoxicants in the Himachal Pradesh. Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur in a recently held cabinet meeting has directed that apart from taking strict action against the drug peddlers in the state, an awareness campaign will be initiated especially for school and college students. In this regard, a meeting was held here today under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary Vineet Chawdhry in which officers of various departments participated.Chief Secretary said that various departments would work jointly to tackle this menace effectively. He said that education department will start a special campaign for students to apprise them about the ill effects of drugs, under which teachers will be trained in District Institute of Education Training (DIET) and State Council of Education Research & Training (SCERT) to sensitize, them about drug abuse so that they can teach students about the ill effects of drugs and other intoxicants. He said that in order to create awareness amongst the students about the ill effects of drugs painting, speech and debate competitions will be organized in schools. This will also be included in school curriculum in the coming years.
He said that awareness regarding the prevention of narcotic and other intoxicants will also be included under the 'Akhand Shiksha Jyoti, Mere School Se Nikle Moti' Yojna. In the near future 10 points formal oath related to drugs will also be given to children in morning assembly across the state and the annual calendar will be prepared to make them aware about the ill effects of drugs which will also include monthly programmes related to prevention of drug abuse.Chawdhry said that with the support of Rural Development & Panchayati Raj and Forest Department a cannabis destroy campaign will be launched in the state with the help of Mahila Mandals, Yuvak Mandals and NGOs which will include all the departments. During this massive campaign the cannabis both on the government and private land will be eradicated. He also instructed the officers of agriculture department to look into the possibility of alternative farming to replace cannabis cultivation. He also directed the health department to open drug de-addiction centre.
He directed the Social Justice and Empowerment department to take necessary action to establish rehabilitation centre. He said that the Narcotics Act will be enforced strictly in the state.He said that the border areas will be closely monitored to keep a strict vigil on drugs smuggling. He said that in the near future a meeting of high level officers of Punjab, Haryana, Uttarakhand, J&K and Himachal Pradesh will be organized and a joint task force will be formed to stop smuggling of narcotics and toll free helpline '104' will be strengthened to provide information about the ill effects drug abuse.Director General of Police S.R Mardi, Additional Chief Secretary Home, Vigilance and Health & Family Welfare B.K Agarwal, Additional Chief Secretary MPP, Power, Forest Tarun Kapoor, Principal Secretary Agriculture Omkar Sharma, Secretary Education Dr. Arun Sharma, Secretary Rural Development and Panchayati Raj R.N Batta, Secretary Language and Culture, Purnima Chauhan, Director Information and Public Relations Anupam Kashyap, Director Health Services Dr. Baldev Kumar were also present in the meeting among others.