‘Lack of political will, absence of drug policy major concern for state’

President of CoNE, RK Nalinikanta said that victimising the drug users and giving focus only towards them will not help in reducing the rising number of drug users.

Absence of drug policy and political will to stop the drug issue in the state, and lack of support from major civil bodies has become a matter of concern to different organisations working for the welfare of drug abusers in Manipur.

As a part of International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking which is observed globally, representatives of the organisations like The Overcomers, Community Network for Empowerment (CoNE), Sanity Foundation expressed concerned that the number of drug users as well as the drug business is increasing in the state in parallel with the ill treatments towards drug users in few rehabilitation centres.
The Overcomers in collaboration with Sanity Foundation and Community Network for Empowerment observed International Day in Support of Victims of Torture at the community hall, The Overcomers on Friday.

Speaking at the function, president of CoNE, RK Nalinikanta said that victimising the drug users and giving focus only towards them will not help in reducing the rising number of drug users. Instead, the production and supply chain of drugs need to be stopped and major civil voluntary organisations should also extend support in the fight against drugs, he stressed.

There should be a political will to stop the drug issue in the state, said Kanta while questioning whether there is political influence in regards to the increasing cases of drug trafficking in Manipur.

Though it was reported that a drug policy will be formulated in the state three years ago, there is no sign of it till date and it shows the negligence of the leaders towards the rising problems/issues, he added.

There are no leaders who raise the issue of drugs in the assembly session and there is no political will to solve the drugs issue, Kanta said. He continued that there are few organisations specially working in fighting against drugs but the number of drug users and the business have been increasing. “What is more alarming, is that there are also drug manufacturing factories in the state as the media have reported about police raiding the factories,” he added.

President of The Overcomers rehabilitation centre, Sagolshem Herojit said that there can be many factors and reasons why a person started using drugs, and it will be wrong to blame a particular person for being a drug abuser. Easily availability of drugs and failure to punish drug traffickers can also be two main factors why the number of drug users is increasing, he said.

Until and unless the government reduces or puts a stop to the chain of drug supply and its usage, the problems of drug menace cannot be controlled, said Herojit. He said that different organisations and even police personnel should stop victimising the drug users, he asserted.

The inmates of different rehabilitation centres who attended the function also staged a silent protest by holding placards as a part of the observation.

 

First Published:June 27, 2020, 5:30 p.m.