A seven-month-long anti-drugs campaign in 272 districts identified as “vulnerable” by the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (SJE) would be launched on Saturday, SJE Minister Thaawarchand Gehlot said on Friday,
On the eve of “Nasha Mukt Bharat” or drug-free India campaign, the Minister addressed district collectors and officials of State governments as well as doctors, NGOs and Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) officers through videoconferencing.
The districts had been identified based on information from the NCB on substance abuse. The campaign will be launched by State governments on Independence Day and carry on till March 31, 2021, a Ministry statement said.
The district and state-level committees formed for the campaign will devise action plans and ensure implementation, it said.
Mr. Gehlot said the Centre was committed towards ending substance abuse, having increased the allocation for the purpose from ₹43 crore in 2017 to ₹260 crore in 2020.
The campaign will include awareness generation, focus on schools and colleges, community outreach, focus on treatment facilities at hospitals and capacity-building for service providers.
On Friday, Mr. Gehlot also inaugurated a building of the National Institute of Social Defence virtually. The building in Dwarka here will serve as the nodal training and research centre for human resource development for drug abuse prevention, welfare of senior citizens and transgenders, prevention of begging and other social defence issues.