Meghalaya minister urges students to stay away from drugs

Meghalaya's Social Welfare minister, Kyrmen Shylla. File image.

Jowai, May 19: Social Welfare minister, Kyrmen Shylla today urged students to stay away from drugs as these substances shorten one’s life.

“I feel so bad to see our youths taking to drugs. This world is so beautiful and we shouldn’t die young. So please stay away from drugs”, the minister said while addressing  an awareness programme on drug abuse, crime against women and children as well as road safety at Jaintia Eastern College.

The awareness programme was organised by the office of the Superintendent of Police, East Jaintia Hills district in collaboration with the authority of Jaintia Eastern College on Thursday.

Speaking on the malady of increasing trend of crime against women and children, the minister urged the people to inform the police immediately if any women or children are being sexual abused in their respective villages and areas.

Making a power-point presentation Police Sub-Inspector, Ms D Shabong flagged various provisions in the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

She informed the students attending the programme that under this Act there are various sections meant to handout stern punishments to those who involved in sexual harassment on children below 18 years of age.

“Most of the cases of sexual offences against children are committed by those who the child knows well such as her close relatives, step father, neighbours etc. “, she said adding that such crimes  must be reported immediately to the police.

Shabong told students that there can’t be any consensual sexual intercourse with children below 18 years of age.

Deputy Superintendent of Police, J Mairom in his power point presentation on road safety informed that in East Jaintia Hills alone had reported more than 50 accidents in the year 2021-22 and 21 lives were lost. Till date this year, 10 lives have already been lost and many injured, some of them critically, in road accidents.

The causes of these accidents are due to over speeding, drunken driving, rash and negligent driving or distraction of the driver because of using the mobile phone while driving.

He stressed that drivers and occupants must always use seat belt as it helps to reduce death rate in accidents by half.

Additional Superintendent of Police, Banraplang Jyrwa who spoke on the issue of drugs abuse, informed that the most common drugs used by state youths are heroin, opium, yaba tablet, ganja and the most common method of using is by injection which leads to HIV/AIDS infection.

“The use of drug is a crime and there is a strong law called the NDPS Act to punish those who are trafficking, selling and consuming drugs” Jyrwa said.

The Deputy Commissioner, Abhilash Baran and Superintendent of Police, Jagpal Singh Dhanoa also gave brief speeches and urged the students to stay away from drugs and concentrate on making their future bright through hard work and constructive activities.