Mangaluru: A discussion was held on drugs, its abuse patterns, trends and impact on the public, especially students of various educational institutions in Mangaluru, Manipal and other educational hubs of coastal Karnataka, at the Deputy Commissioner’s Office here on August 10.
Various NGOs and social activists shared their experience and the problems that the present society faces due to drug menace.
An NGO member said that there are a number of people who come to the NGO for counselling and most of them are the youth. Earlier, due to heavy consumption of alcohol, old people were coming for counselling but now more than 30 to 35 youth come for counselling everyday. “We can bring the alcoholic people under control and after the treatment, 75% become sober. But, we are unable to control the youth who are consuming drugs. There is also a software engineer who is addicted to drugs under counselling at the NGO. Nowadays, we come across many youth who are addicted to drugs. We need to find a solution for this problem, the police too do not take any action. After paying the penalty, the police release the drug peddlers and this encourages them to continue the crime,” he said.
Yathish Baikampady said that earlier ‘Gutka’ was consumed by the labour class but now the youth are also addicted to this. Ganja, Opium and many Chinese synthetic drugs are in the market. Some youth who have bikes and mobiles supply the drugs and such cases are not reported. He said, “Some parents have come to us when they have found more than Rs 15,000 cash in their children’s pockets and this is a very dangerous sign.
Dr Nagesh from the US said that synthetic drugs are coming into the market from China. “Some students consume drugs and also inject them. When it is a synthetic drug, it is not detected in the blood or urine and it is very difficult to find out,” he said.
A representative from Alva’s College Moodbidri said that near the engineering college, there is a petty shop and a hotel which sells cigarettes. “We have complained in the police station but they have not taken any action. Because of drugs consumption, many students have left the college.”
A lecturer from Sahyadri College said that near the college at Farangipet and Adyar, drugs are available for sale. The lecturer said, “Even if the drug peddlers or traffickers are sent to the police, if they pay Rs 20,000 they can come out. College students prefer to stay as Paying Guests (PG) outside, they do not prefer the hostel. We need to keep an eye on the PG accommodations because there is no control over them. The students know where the drugs are available, who sells them and their names too. It is time to take strict action against the drug peddlers.”
A social activist said that after consuming drugs, youth openly kiss in public at Bendurwell and are also involved in other activities. The police do not take proper action even if the people in the area complain, he said. Drug peddlers operate in places like the crematoriums, burial grounds and college premises which should be monitored.
Another NGO member said that without prescription, drugs should not be given to anyone by the pharmacies. “After 10 pm, it is very difficult to walk on the road because drug addicts trouble us on the road. Railways stations are also places where drugs being brought from other places change hands. Strict laws should be enforced to stop the drug menace.”
DGP Om Prakash said that the police will take all measures for the prevention, detection and awareness of drugs and drug related problems. He said, “The drug menace has spread everywhere in our country, especially in our district. We are trying to curb it. In our state, youngsters spoil their lives. We need to bring awareness among the people. We need to bring all departments together, especially the education department, to fight this problem. Subjects will be added in 8th and 9th standard syllabus in the state and CBSC syllabus about awareness and the disadvantages of drugs. We have a moral responsibility. When there are changes in any of the students, the teachers should monitor the student and inform the police or concerned authorities, so that action will be taken. If the police directly go to the college campus, it will be bad for the reputation of the college. The police alone cannot bring changes in the society. We all are equally responsible to bring changes. Whenever we find such cases, we need to take action.”
He further said that the police are doing their work by detecting such cases and filing charge-sheets. The existing system should be strengthened before forming a task force. We have requested the Narcotic Control Bureau to increase the detecting kits and the same will be provided to the Police Department. A meeting should be called every three months and the issue should be discussed and action taken. Infrastructure will be developed to help the de-addiction centres, he added.
Deputy Commissioner A B Ibrahim said that the discussion held on the prevention, detection and awareness was fruitful. “All of us should work hand in hand to eliminate the drug menace in our district. Discussions are being held to implement the COPTA Act. The drug control board has cancelled permission of 40 medical shops in the district.” He thanked all the participants for taking part in the discussions to eliminate the menace caused by drugs.
ADGP of Intelligence A M Prasad, Sunil Agarwal from Internal Security Department, Police Commissioner S Murugan, SP Dr Sharanappa, ZP CEO Sreevidya and others were also present.