July 19, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday directed the school authorities to inform police and excise officials about drug consumption among children without fail if any such case comes to their notice.
Though 323 cases had come to the notice of teachers and the management of various schools during the academic year 2022-23, only 183 of them were reported to the enforcement officials. This trend should not be encouraged, the Chief Minister said during a high-level meeting convened here to discuss steps to be taken to prevent the use of drugs among students.
“Cases of drug consumption should be brought to the attention of the authorities,” he said.
Noting that remedial measures should be taken if children are showing any behavioural changes either in class or at home, he said teachers should ensure the service of medical counsellors to them after informing the incident to police/excise personnel secretly.
Citing figures, Vijayan said drug dealings were unearthed near 382 education institutions across the state.
A special drive ‘No to Drug’ campaign should be planned specially targetting these schools with the support of police, he suggested.
School premises should be under the constant surveillance of the enforcement agencies and the activities of local ‘jagratha’ committees should be further strengthened there, he said.
A series of anti-narcotic programmes are scheduled to be held involving children, he said adding that a students’ parliament, debate of children and local residents, seminars and family meetings are among the few.
Posters with anti-drug messages should be exhibited in all government and semi-government offices, PSUs and corporations, he said.
Local self-government institutions should convene the meeting of their anti-drug vigilant committees at least once in three months and review their activities, the Chief Minister further suggested.
Ministers including R Bindhu and M B Rajesh, Chief Secretary V Venu, DGP Sheik Darvesh Saheb and other senior officials took part in the meeting.
Vijayan’s statements assume significance in the wake of increasing incidents of drug consumption reported among children in the State in the recent times.
A recent survey conducted by Kerala police among youths below 21 years of age, who were victims of substance abuse, has revealed another shocking fact that 40 per cent of them were children below the age of 18.
What is more frightening is that majority of them were girl children and after falling prey to the drug cartels, they were being used as carriers, it said.
Source: PTINews, States