Kerala

Now, a spirited campaign against substance abuse to salvage reputation of Ernakulam district in Kerala

Every 29 out of the 100 men in Ernakulam district were found to be using alcohol, which was higher than the national average of 27 out of 100. Ernakulam shared the malaise with five other districts in Kerala — Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Idukki, Malappuram, and Kozhikode.   | Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

In 2019, a survey held by the Union Ministry of Social Justice bestowed Ernakulam district in Kerala with a dubious distinction of being among the 272 districts in the country afflicted with substance abuse.

Every 29 out of the 100 men in the district were found to be using alcohol, which was higher than the national average of 27 out of 100. Ernakulam shared the malaise with five other districts in Kerala — Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Idukki, Malappuram, and Kozhikode.

Now, the Ernakulam district Social Justice Department is set to embark on a month-long intense awareness campaign under the Union Government's Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyan to salvage the district's reputation.

"We are planning to hold 1,000 awareness sessions in a month from June 26 for which we have trained 100 master volunteers and 41 gender-resource persons of Kudumbasree. A national-level and international-level webinars are also being planned," said Subair K. K, district social justice officer.

Drug abuse on the rise

Since the survey had found that drug abuse was also on the rise in the district, though it was lower than the national average, the Social Justice Department is not just limiting its focus to alcohol abuse.

Block, municipal and corporation-level committees will be formed as part of the campaign, while there will be a district-level committee chaired by the district collector and social justice officer as convener.

"Once these committees are in place, we will conduct a survey to identify the alcohol abuse hotspots in the district. We also plan to further intensify the activities of the five de-addiction centres in the district," said Mr. Subair.

The Social Justice Department has already set up a de-addiction centre for women and girls at Karukutti, the first of its kind in Kerala, and an outreach and drop-in centre at Koonanmaavu.

A string of social media contests has been planned to extend the reach of the awareness campaign. This include contests in creation of social media campaigns and memes, theme dance by not more than four, and painting.

"We also plan to rope in people who have managed to survive substance abuse to share their experience, besides campaigns by celebrities," said Mr. Subair.


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Printable version | Jul 31, 2021 5:40:20 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/now-a-spirited-campaign-against-substance-abuse-to-salvage-reputation-of-ernakulam-district-in-kerala/article34898466.ece

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