De-addiction drive to get Rs.10 lakh initially

The Kozhikode district panchayat will launch a massive anti-drug awareness campaign and de-addiction programme for tribespeople from the next financial year.

The campaign aims to free the young generation from the grip of reckless alcohol consumption and drug abuse. The list of tribal colonies for launching the campaign will be prepared within a couple of months with the support of health workers and neighbourhood groups in the district.

To begin the drive, the district panchayat will initially set aside Rs.10 lakh from its Plan fund.

In the first phase, tribal colonies in Kodenchery and Vanimel grama panchayats will be covered under the scheme as illicit liquor brewing and consumption have been found increasing in these hamlets.

Chembukadavu colony, one of the most vulnerable tribal hamlets to alcohol and other sedative substances, will also be covered in the first phase.

Special panel

District panchayat president K. Jameela said a special panel of doctors and counsellors would be appointed for implementing the scheme. “We will carry out a comprehensive survey to prepare a list of drug addicts in all colonies and make an action plan for suitable intervention,” she added.

As per preliminary reports received by the district panchayat from various local body members, the situation in some of the tribal colonies was moving to a very tragic state. In some case, all in a family, the young and old alike, were addicted to alcohol. The children from such backward colonies had been found malnourished and suffering from various ailments.

“We have come across several cases in which the women too consume alcohol and sedative drugs, which have a very dangerous impact on their children. This situation has to change and the new drive will contribute a great deal towards the purpose,” Ms. Jameela said.

The initiative also brings cheer to grama panchayat and district panchayat members who have been campaigning for a proper intervention regarding the issue. They had earlier presented a detailed report to the panchayat authorities, pointing out the increasing number of suicides, communicable diseases, and the pitiable living surroundings. The report, submitted in 2011, had then found eight suicides within a period of two years as a result of increased alcohol consumption in various tribal colonies in Kozhikode district. As per the study, their life span was also found decreasing.

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