Conference on "Drug Menace in India- Overview, Challenges and Solutions" which was being organised by Himachal Pradesh State Legal Services Authority under the aegis of National Legal Services Authority at Manali concluded today. On the concluding day, Hon'ble Mr. Justice T.S. Thakur, Judge, Supreme Court of India and Hon'ble Executive Chairman of National Legal Services Authority said in his valedictory address exhorted the police to go after the kingpins or the drug lords to end the menace. His Lordship said that otherwise the drug lords would be getting other carriers to transport the drugs and the trade will continue unabated. His Lordship also urged the politicians to join the fight against the drugs and called upon the elected representatives to file an affidavit stating that they are not involved in drug cultivation or trafficking in any manner. His Lordship urged the Panchayat Members to report the illegal cultivation of cannabis to the police. He requested the State Government to send the Investigators for training to the Judicial Academies to plug the loopholes in the investigation. He called upon the schools and the other educational institutions to join the State Legal Services Authority to educate the children against the evil effects of drugs and promised to provide necessary support to the educational institutions in this venture. His Lordship also said that there must be a partnership between all the stakeholders, NGOs and the society to eradicate this menace.
His Lordship also added that the National Legal Services Authority will frame a policy which will be beneficial for the entire nation to save the people from the drug menace. Hon'ble Mr. Justice Mansoor Ahmad Mir, Chief Justice, High Court of Himachal Pradesh and Hon'ble Patron-in-Chief of Himachal Pradesh State Legal Services Authority, while addressing the gathering said that drug abuse in India has assumed an alarming proportion. More and more people are falling prey to its tentacles. Present conference was organized to explore various facets of drug abuse and to create awareness among the people about this burning issue. His Lordship also said that youth is the future of the nation and our country is considered to be young considering a large number of young people. This has created opportunities for the progress of the nation by utilizing the services of the youth. However, this is only possible if the young force is employable. Therefore, it is essential to keep the people away from the drugs and to rehabilitate the addicts into the main stream. Drug addicts have to be treated and rehabilitated.
Kaul Singh Thakur, Hon’ble Minister for Health, Family Welfare with additional charge of Revenue, Law and Legal Remembrance, Medication Education, Government of Himachal Pradesh, speaking on the occasion said that The Government on its part has taken various steps to curb this menace. The raids are being conducted routinely to destroy the illicit cultivation of Cannabis plants. Unfortunately this is not an easy task because the plant grows wildly in the hills and it is difficult to know whether it is wild or cultivated. Large scale operations are being undertaken to destroy the plants and to detect the illegal transportation of narcotics, however, all this is not sufficient without public will to support these steps. The increase in the drugs abuse always leads to increase in the crimes in the society. Therefore, it is essential to resolve the social problem so that we can prevent the eruption of litigation. Unless we are able to address the social problems, the attempt to tackle the legal problems would be just like fighting the hydra monster whose head re-grows the moment it is severed. National policy in place will help the country in its war against the drugs.
Hon'ble Mr. Justice Rajiv Sharma, Judge, High Court of Himachal Pradesh, also addressed the gathering and said that the impact of drugs on the national economy can be disastrous. The work force affected by the drugs will not be able to contribute to the national economy. The cost of health will increase and the workforce would be reduced considerably due to suicides and deaths associated with the drugs consumption. Consumption of drugs leads to an increase in the crime rate, which also affects the economy and the social indicators.Hon'ble Mr. Justice A.K. Sikri and Hon'ble Mr. Justice S.A. Bobde, Judges, Hon'ble Supreme Court of India, Hon'ble Mr. Justice P.S. Rana & Hon'ble Mr. Justice Sureshwar Thakur, Judges High Court of Himachal Pradesh, Shri Shrawan Dogra, Advocate General and Chairman Bar Council, Himachal Pradesh, Hon'ble Judges from the High Courts of Punjab & Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir, Delhi, Uttarakhand and Rajasthan, Secretary National Legal Services Authority, Resource Persons from various institutions and NGOs and many other high dignitaries were also present in the valediction of the conference.
This conference was attended by the Law Secretaries, Member Secretaries of State Legal Service Authorities of Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Chandigarh, Haryana, Delhi, Uttarakhand & Rajasthan and Chairmen of District Legal Service Authorities of Himachal Pradesh and other stake holders from Narcotics, Forensics. The Secretaries of State also attended the conference. During this three days of this conference, deliberations were made on drug abuse and its effects, intervention for prevention of drug and substance abuse, impact of addiction on physical and mental health, intervention in regard to treatment of addicts and their rehabilitation, tackling drug and substance abuse in school and other educational institutions, challenges to the Legal System, perspective of the Investigating Agency, prosecuting agency and Presiding Officers, role of village panchayats and other local bodies in prevention of cultivation, transportation and trading of narcotics and tapping the grass roots level in order to evolve a strategy to draw attention of the Stakeholders to eradicate the drug menace in India and to evolve a national policy on drug menace.