Visakhapatnam

Campaign against ganja takes folk route

Folk artistes presenting a programme at a village in Visakhapatnam Agency.

Folk artistes presenting a programme at a village in Visakhapatnam Agency.  

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Street-play, ‘burra katha’ teams roped in to spread the message

After taking up destruction of ganja crop in 11 Agency mandals of Visakhapatnam district, the Department of Prohibition and Excise has taken the route of folk arts to create awareness among tribal people about the ill-effects of growing and smuggling the weed.

Enforcement and destruction is just a part of tackling the ganja menace. The basic idea is to wean away the innocent tribal people from cultivation of the crop, according to Excise director Venkateswara Rao.

“Keeping this in mind we have taken the initiative to host street-play [veedhi natakam] and ‘burra katha’ to educate the tribal people about the NDPS Act and its repercussions,” he has said.

The Excise Department has roped in five teams of artistes from East Godavari and each team will comprise four members.

Each team will visit at least two tribal hamlets or villages on a daily basis. Our target is to see that the five teams cover at least 10 hamlets per day, according to Superintendent of Prohibition and Excise V. Sudheer.

Mandals identified

Five highly prone mandals such as Munchingput, Pedabayalu, GK Veedhi, Chintapalli and G. Madugula have been identified for implementation of the pilot project and the idea is to cover at least 300 villages or hamlets in a month in these mandals, Mr. Venkateswara Rao has said.

“We are not only focussing on highlighting the sections in NDPS Act, but also trying to give them alternative crop options and disseminating the various government schemes through cultural programmes,” Mr. Venkateswara Rao has said.

In the last one month, the Excise Department personnel destroyed 70 lakh ganja plants in the 11 mandals of the Agency area.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2020 3:08:24 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Visakhapatnam/campaign-against-ganja-takes-folk-route/article21236504.ece

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