New initiative by Namakkal Collector for students yields good results

The initiative of District Collector Shreya P. Singh, namely “Vinnaithodu” (touch the sky) has yielded good results in just two months.

Considering the physiological changes including usage of drugs, lack of interest in education and violent behaviour among the students following the two-year gap due to COVID-19, the Collector introduced an initiative, Vinnaithodu, for providing counselling and guidance to the students about social evils and making them concentrate on education alone.

The Collector inducted all the department heads into the initiative, especially police, education, child welfare, and health departments. The officials explained about the natural attraction of the children during adolescence, setting up goals for the future, healthy diets, menstrual hygiene and influence of drugs.

The programme that aims to cover all the schools and colleges was inaugurated on June 28 at the Erumapatti Government Girls Higher Secondary School.

A new whatsApp number, 94861-11098, was provided to the students to report their problems directly to the district administration and to the police. As of the first week of August, a total of 600 calls were received from the students.

Following the success of the initiative, the State government has decided to extend this initiative across the State soon, an official attached to the Education Department told The Hindu.

“We are targeting school and college students on four main topics: - drug abuse, sexual abuse, awareness of cybercrime and road safety. We are visiting 135 schools and 39 colleges in the district and explaining the evils of consuming drugs. We are creating awareness about the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act. Our prime target is students in Classes IX to Plus Two, as they are in the vulnerable category. While we interacted with students at Komarapalayam last week, they provided information about a shop selling drugs, and we immediately arrested the shop owner. So far, we have covered 33,880 school students and 11,960 college students,“ E. Sai Charan Tejaswi, District Superintendent of Police, said.

Ms. Singh said as a positive result of this initiative, two children abused sexually were rescued. Legal action was being taken against the culprits. Through continuous counselling by therapists, a total of 16 children, who are addicted to drugs, have currently stopped using drugs, and we are monitoring them. Likewise, calls for child helpline number 1098 also increased by 16 % compared to last year. Two children benefited through medical surgery under this initiative,” Ms. Singh added.

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Printable version | Aug 10, 2022 6:26:25 pm |