Srinagar, Nov 15 : The Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Sector Headquarters (Special Operation) Sashastra Seema Bal, Srinagar, Hemam Basanta Kumar Singh on Wednesday advocated for the integration of religious institutions to combat the rising issue of drug abuse among the youth in the Kashmir valley.
Speaking at an event organized by the NGO “Save Kashmir, Save Future,” the outgoing DIG emphasised the need for a collective effort to raise awareness and eliminate the menace of drug abuse from the society.
He called for utilising the post-prayer moments in mosques to engage the community in discussions about the adverse effects of drug abuse.
“Without disturbing the time fixed for the prayers five times, the individuals who come for prayers could take five minutes after prayers to educate one another, especially children, about the signs of drug abuse, preventive measures, and the overall detrimental impact on the community,” he said.
He said that there was no better way to reach the grassroots level with this message than through religious institutions.
He stressed the importance of leveraging the widespread influence of mosques and other religious centers to effectively disseminate information about the dangers of drug abuse.
The outgoing DIG highlighted the urgency of addressing the evolving trends in drug use among the youth in Kashmir. “Kashmir is a paradise and it should remain so,” he said.
He however expressed concern about the emergence of new patterns of drug abuse and underscored the necessity to curb these trends promptly.
Acknowledging the ongoing efforts by the administration, the DIG said that awareness programs, including those conducted by the SSB, have been organised at various locations.
“But I request the administration to include information about drug abuse in the school curriculum to ensure that children are well-informed about its consequences from an early age,” he said.
Notably, the emphasis is being given on involvement of religious institutions and clerics to spread the message against drug abuse in Kashmir.
Few months ago, the Baramulla Police took an initiative wherein they involved religious clerics in an anti-drug campaign and urged them to raise their voice against the menace of drug addiction saying that their voice has an impact as people listen to them and respect them as well.
The call for collaboration between law enforcement agencies, religious institutions, and community organisations reflects a proactive approach to address the complex issue of drug abuse in Kashmir, with a focus on prevention and community engagement.
As per the official figures, there has been a decline in the number of cases registered against the drug peddlers over the last few months. The number of cases registered in recent months have decreased significantly in Baramulla district.