New action plan under Centre’s Nasha Mukt Bharat drive
Following the Vimukti campaign adopted by the Excise Department to fight against drug abuse, the Department of Social Justice is gearing up to implement a new action plan under the Union government’s Nasha Mukt Bharat to free youngsters from substance abuse. Kozhikode is one of the 272 districts identified across the country to implement the Union government’s project.
All the existing de-addiction schemes will be linked to the National Action Plan for Drug Demand Reduction. The latest order from the government says the new action plan will integrate the activities such as preventive education and awareness generation, capacity building, treatment, rehabilitation, special action plan for vulnerable areas, vocational and livelihood support.
“In Kerala, six districts namely Kozhikode, Malappuram, Ernakulam, Idukki, Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram will benefit from the special action plans under the Central scheme. In Malappuram, an Integrated Rehabilitation Centre for Addicts (IRCA) will also come up with Central aid for identification of addicts, motivational counselling, de-addiction support and after-care,” said an official with the Department of Social Justice. As additional support, Kozhikode, Malappuram, Idukki and Kollam districts would get Outreach and Drop-in Centres (ODIC) to give safe and secure drop-in places for drug addicts, he said.
In Kozhikode district, a full-fledged resource team will be formed soon with the support of volunteers from Legal Services Society, National Service Scheme and Nehru Yuva Kendra to begin field-level activities. The resource team members will get in touch with students, teachers, elected representatives, anganwadi workers, residents’ association leaders, and Kudumbashree workers to spread awareness against drug abuse at the grassroots-level.
The appointment of youths as peer educators for early drug abuse prevention among adolescents is one of the novel initiatives under the scheme. They will be responsible for identifying vulnerable segments in the assigned areas and report it to the higher authorities for timely action. Such selected youths will also be eligible for honorarium.
A Sub Collector will be coordinating the project implementation in Kozhikode district. The first round of meetings with stakeholders has been completed and the next step will be the formation of resource teams. Considering the COVID-19 situation, the selected resource team members will be offered training through online sessions. Following the Centre’s direction, the police force will also be part of the project implementation.
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