With the theme “Listen First – Listening to Children and Youth is the First Step to Help Them Grow Healthy and Safe,” the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking  2017 was observed today at G.M. Hall, Imphal. The event was jointly organised by Department of Social Welfare, Government of Manipur, Federation of Indian NGO’s for Drug Abuse Prevention (FINGODAP) and Coalition Against Drugs & Alcohol (CADA)

Health & Family Welfare, Law & Legislative Affairs, Art & Culture, CADA Minister Shri L. Jayantakumar Singh, Social Welfare and Cooperation Minister Smt Nemcha Kipgen and Education, Labour & Employment Minister Shri Th. Radheshyam Singh graced the occasion as Chief Guest, President and Guest of Honour respectively.

Speaking on the occasion as Chief Guest, CADA Minister L. Jayantakumar draws upon the attention of the people in highlighting the importance of this day to fight against drug users and drug traffickers. He stresses how the various departments under the government of Manipur are interrelated to completely wipe out drug abuse and illicit trafficking and also to educate the society the harmful effect that drugs cause to all of us. “Will power plays a vital role in fighting against drug abuse, usage of drugs or drugs addiction; Without strong will power and cooperation from the people, it will be quite difficult to stop such harmful mishap in the society,” he further added.

While delivering a Presidential speech, Education Minister Th. Radheshyam highlighted the significance of the theme of the event and stresses on the importance of ‘Listening’ or ‘being a good listener’ to build a better relationship in the society. As most of the people affected by drugs today are adolescents at the age group of 13/14 to 30 years, they should be given chance to speak out their minds and should listen to find out the causes. He further added that the problem of drug addiction cannot abolished out of force or by moral policing, it can be done only through awareness programmes and support from near and dear ones.

Social Welfare and Cooperation Minister Nemcha Kipgen pointed out how government plays a significant role to encounter both drug trafficking and drug abuse and urged the families, institutions, civil society, and various organizations to also cooperate and contribute their bit to get rid of such intoxicants. As substance abuse and the illicit trafficking of drugs is a hindrance in the development of the society and a reason behind imbalanced lifestyle amongst most of the youth today, the Minister strongly advised the people especially the students to stay away from the intoxicants of drug abuse. She called upon the attention of the people that addicts need to be dealt with love and understanding so as to prevent substance abuse before it is too late. We should all work hand in hand in making our state a Substance Abuse Free State and also to develop a healthier community, she added.

As part of the celebration, prize distribution for pledge writing and painting competitions which were held earlier in different schools were distributed by the dignitaries today.

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