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Excise Department’s awareness initiatives set to go modern

3D theatre and museum combo getting ready in Kochi

Awareness campaigns by the Excise Department in the district against drug and alcohol addiction is set to reach a cutting edge, with a 3D theatre and museum combo at its office complex in Kacheripady here.

The construction of the 60-seater 3D theatre jointly by Keltron and Kerala Artisans Development Corporation at an investment of ₹2 crore is in the final stages. The plan is to commission it within the next 45 days under the State government’s 100-day programme. The project is being executed under Vimukthi, the drug- and addiction-free mission of the department.

“The work is more or less complete, and the trial run has also gone well. We have approached the Excise Commissionerate, seeking permission for production of 3D-enabled awareness videos. Quality short videos will have to be produced, and we hope to make a few at very nominal rates by appealing to the social commitment of major players in media production,” said T.A. Ashok Kumar, Deputy Excise Commissioner, Ernakulam. Till 3D videos are made, the theatre will be used for screening normal awareness videos of the department that are now being screened using laptops and basic projectors.

“We have also proposed a museum dedicated to de-addiction, which will be probably the first of its kind in the country. The project, estimated to cost ₹30 lakh, is still in its infancy,” said Mr. Ashok Kumar. The idea is to showcase visual and object installations to drive home the many dangers of drug addiction.

Once both the facilities are up and running, the department plans to club them as a package for half-day-long awareness tours for students and youngsters. “The message on the devastating impact of drug and alcohol addiction on the human body will carry that much weight when shown in 3D images,” said Mr. Ashok Kumar.

The department has been running awareness campaigns mainly through webinars considering the COVID-19 restrictions. A letter writing competition was held on the role of students in fighting drug addiction, and three district-level winners were felicitated.

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