Staff Reporter

74 schools to be covered in first phase

Training for teachers to begin today

Special focus on high-risk communities

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The district panchayat, in association with the Alcohol and Drug Information Centre (ADIC)-India, is launching a de-addiction campaign in government high schools and higher secondary schools.

The staff orientation programme for the ‘Addiction free school’ project will be inaugurated by Kerala Women’s Commission Chairperson Justice D. Sreedevi here on Thursday.

An official statement released here on Wednesday said as many as 74 government HS and HSS will be covered in the first phase of the campaign.

District panchayat secretary V.S. Santhosh Kumar said the project implementation at the school level will start next week.

The project basically involves a major campaign to create awareness among schoolchildren against substance abuse. The orientation programme on Thursday will be for teachers from all participating schools. The trained teachers will coordinate the project in their respective schools,” Mr Santhosh Kumar said.

The district panchayat had set apart Rs.7 lakh for the project. It will include free counselling, reference to treatment centres, distribution of campaign materials, slide shows, and various programmes and competitions to promote the campaign. The campaign will involve the school health clubs and voluntary organisations.

“This project will not be restricted to school students. We intend to reach out to parents coping with addiction problems. The aim is to empower students to holistically deal with the menace of alcohol, drugs and tobacco. Their homes should also be free of these, ADIC-India director Johnson J. Edayaranmula said.

There will be special campaigns for students from high-risk communities like slum areas. A detailed schedule of activities and the programme calendar for two months had been prepared, he added.

The ban on shops selling tobacco products and alcohol near schools and educational institutions will strictly be implemented by the local bodies as part of this campaign, the panchayat secretary said.

“In the next phase, aided schools will also be included in the project,” he added.