NGOs appeal to extend deadline for feedback on draft state drug policy

A letter jointly signed by three organisations was submitted via email to the principal secretary (Social Welfare department), Government of Manipur on Thursday.

The Community Network for Empowerment (CoNE), Makers Foundation and USERS’ Manipur have appealed to the authority concerned to extend the deadline for providing feedback on the draft drug policy for another two weeks.

A letter in this regard jointly signed by the three organisations was submitted via email to the principal secretary (Social Welfare department), Government of Manipur on Thursday, stated a release.

The draft drug policy christened as ‘Manipur State Policy on Substance Use-2019’ has been initially drafted by a Drafting Sub-Committee constituted by the Social Welfare Department and comprising different stakeholders including civil organisations, student groups, law enforcement agencies, NGOs and line departments, it stated.

The letter mentioned that the three organisations took a cursory glance as a review and went through the draft and informed that though due to mobility restrictions of COVID-19 pandemic, a thorough discussion as a team could not be materialised, it stated. However, they managed to raise certain points which could be elaborated and discussed further, if the deadline is to be extended, it added.  

“If not for the mobility restrictions due to COVID-19; we could have been able to meet amongst ourselves and bring out areas which will help strengthen the already existing well written draft,” the letter said while adding that furthermore, there are many well-wishers and experts (inside and outside the state) working in the area of Drug use who have opined to look into and provide meaningful suggestions, the release stated. 

Taking the above rationale into account, a deadline extension to comment and suggest further on this important Policy is needed, the release stated.

The NGOS lauded the initiative of the state government in bringing out a draft state drug policy namely ‘Manipur State Policy on Substance Use-2019’ which had remained unattended for quite some time, and finally seeking feedback and suggestions from all sections of the society, it added. 

First Published:Aug. 6, 2020, 8:26 p.m.