Need to check smuggling of narcotics: Union minister

Union Minister of Social Justice & Empowerment interacts with NGOs in city

SHILLONG, Sep 21: Raising concern over the reported smuggling of narcotics and contraband into states that share borders with neighbouring Bangladesh, Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment, Dr. Virendra Kumar, has called for a mechanism to stop the illegal activity so as to prevent youths from being addicted to narcotics.
Dr. Kumar visited Shillong on Tuesday and interacted with NGOs of the state in a meeting.
Speaking to media persons here on Tuesday, Dr. Virendra Kumar, said, “There are reports that the states which share international border (Indo-Bangla border), there is a lot of smuggling of narcotic items and the illegal activity needs to be stopped so that we can stop our youths from getting addicted”.
Expressing satisfaction over the efforts of the state government are making to curb the menace, the Union minister has called for more vigorous push so as to ensure that youths affected by substance abuse can be linked with the NGOs as well as the schemes of the Ministry.
On the absence of a government-owned rehabilitation centre in the state, Dr. Kumar said that the matter will be discussed in detail with officials of the Meghalaya government.
The Minister, on the other hand, emphasised that the schemes and programmes of the Ministry need to be implemented in the best possible manner in the state, for which he intends to hold discussions with Chief Minister Conrad Sangma
Meanwhile, the Social Justice Minister informed that his Ministry is all committed to build an inclusive society for the Divyangs (persons with disabilities).
Earlier, he held a meeting with officials of the Department of Social Welfare and other working NGOs. The NGOs have availed schemes from the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
Dr. Kumar emphasised on skill training programmes for empowerment of Divyangs to bring them in the mainstream for overall development of the country and to help them become self-reliant and independent.
Speaking about welfare schemes of the government, he said that the central government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has implemented various welfare schemes in the interest of Divyangs across the country.
The Ministry has also been working aggressively on drug rehabilitation centres and old age homes in the country, the minister informed the gathering, while adding that monitoring and surveillances have been made strict at these centres for proper care and security of the inmates.
The Union Minister also visited Kripa Foundation at Upper Lachumiere and spoke with the inmates there.
He informed that his government has taken initiatives for special sports training institute for the Divyangs at various places in the country including one at Shillong.
Others who attended the meeting include Secretary, North Eastern Council, K Moses Chalai, Principal Secretary, Sampath Kumar, Commissioner and Secretary, MN Nampui, senior officials of Social Welfare department and NGOs working for the department.

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