“Nasha Mukt Bharat: Annual Action Plan (2020-21) for 272 Most Affected Districts’ was e-launched by Rattan Lal Kataria, Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment on the occasion of “International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking” here today. On this occasion, he also released Logo and Tagline for National Action Plan for Drug Demand Reduction and 9 Video Spots produced for Drug Abuse Prevention. Secretary, M/o SJ&E R. Subramaniam and Joint Sec retary Ms. Radhika Chakravarty were present. Representatives from State governments and NGOs also participated online.
Addressing on the occasion, Rattan Lal Kataria said that the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment observes 26th June every year as “International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking”. It is the nodal Ministry for drug demand reduction which coordinates and monitors all aspects of drug abuse prevention which include assessment of the extent of the problem, preventive action, treatment and rehabilitation of addicts, dissemination of information and public awareness.
The Minister said that Nasha Mukt Bharat Annual Action Plan for 2020-21 would focus on 272 most affected districts (list in Annexure) and launch a three-pronged attack combining efforts of Narcotics Bureau, Outreach/Awareness by Social Justice and Treatment through the Health Dept. The Action Plan has the following components: Awareness generation programmes; Focus on Higher Educational institutions, University Campuses and Schools; Community outreach and identification of dependent population; Focus on Treatment facilities in Hospital settings; and Capacity Building Programmes for Service Provider.
He said thatbased on the finding of the National Survey on Extent and Pattern of Substance Use in India and list of districts which are vulnerable from the supply point of view provided by Narcotics Control Bureau, the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment would undertake intervention programmes in vulnerable districts across the country with an aim to: Reach out to Children and Youth for awareness about ill effect of drug use; Increase community participation and public cooperation; Supporting Government Hospitals for opening up De- addiction Centers in addition to existing Ministry Supported De-addiction Centers (IRCAs); and Conducting Training programme for participants.
The Minister said that his Ministry provides community based services for the identification, treatment and rehabilitation of addicts through Voluntary Organizations. It provides financial assistance to NGOs across the country for running de-addiction centres. The Ministry has also set up a 24×7 National Toll Free drug de-addiction helpline number 1800110031 to help the victims of drug abuse, their family and society at large.
Kataria said that the Ministry has also prepared a National Action Plan for Drug Demand Reduction for the period 2018-2025 which aims at reduction of adverse consequences of drug abuse through a multi-pronged strategy involving education, de-addiction and rehabilitation of affected individuals and their families. The Action Plan includes components for preventive education and awareness generation, capacity building, treatment and rehabilitation, setting quality standards, focussed intervention in vulnerable areas, skill development, vocational training and livelihood support of ex-drug addicts, State/UT specific interventions, surveys, studies, evaluation and research etc.
Subramaniam in his address said that the problem of drug abuse and illicit trafficking is at Society level andso we have to involve Communities along with health department officials with focus on our youths. He said that the funds for this programme in the year 2017-18 was Rs 49 crores and now in the year 2019-20 it was Rs 110 crores and in the year 2020-21, the fund has been increased to Rs 260 crores, i.e. more than 5 times. It shows our commitment to tackle this grave problem of drug abuse and illicit trafficking.
Taking cognizance of the fact that addressing the problem of drug abuse requires concerted action at different levels of the Government, the Ministry has asked the State Governments to plan and take specific initiatives, taking into account their local considerations and devise specific and suitable strategies for drug demand reduction in their identified areas. The State Governments have also been involved in the monitoring process for programmes under the NAPDDR in order to ensure its effective implementation.
Due to COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment could not conduct the presentation of the National Awards for outstanding Services in the field of Prevention of Alcoholism and Substance (Drug) Abuse on the occasion of International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking today.