S. Vijay Kumar

CHENNAI: In a move to educate school children on the evils of drugs, the Madras University has devised a project in which experts drawn from the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) and other drug law enforcing agencies would sensitise teachers.

According to the NCB South Zonal Director, S. Davidson Devasirvatham, the first batch of teachers would be sensitised to the ill-effects of drugs on November 29.

An initiative by the Department of Criminology, the programme would also cover teachers from select private schools.

“The campaign has been approved by the Department of School Education. International drug experts, including Ramachandran Sundaralingam, who had a long tenure in the Interpol, would address the teachers,” Mr. Davidson told The Hindu on Tuesday.

Investigations following the seizure of cocaine from a peddler in the city recently, revealed that the contraband was meant for local consumption by the affluent class, including some students. “There is an urgent need to create awareness on the evils of drugs among children.”

Three-day training

Mr. Davidson said that the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes would conduct a three-day training programme in Chennai commencing on November 24 for members of drug law enforcing agencies in SAARC countries.

The programme would facilitate exchange of intelligence information on drug movement, habitual offenders and latest smuggling pattern.

The SAARC Monitoring Desk, which is also a co-ordinating agency between drug law enforcing agencies, had also stepped-up its activities.

Presently managed by the Police Narcotics Bureau in Sri Lanka, the Desk had evolved schemes to share inputs on drug activities in the region.

“A co-ordinated effort is on to put down smuggling of drugs. We at the NCB (South Zone) are compiling data on the details of Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act registered by all agencies in the last ten years. A comprehensive database on the drug scenario over the decade is being computerised,” Mr. Davidson said.

Mr. Davidson said that smuggling of drugs to Sri Lanka along the south-eastern coast was still active, though the quantity was very small.

He said, “We have heightened surveillance at the airport and ports. We suspect that a gang of African nationals based at New Delhi is trying to move heroin smuggled in from Afghanistan, to Malaysia and Bangkok for further transhipment to other countries.”

The recent seizure of heroin from women passengers bound for south-east Asian countries substantiates their suspicion, he added.