‘Meghalaya major transit point for drug trafficking’

SHILLONG, June 25: Meghalaya’s Director General of Police (DGP) LR Bishnoi, on Saturday, said that the state has become a major transit point for drug trafficking.
Speaking during a programme at U Soso Tham Auditorium to commemorate the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking here, the DGP said in Meghalaya, there are approximately 2.5 lakh drug users including injectable drugs and psychotropic substances users, while adding that drug addicts in India accounts to about 7.3 crore where 1.2 crore are children between the age group of 11-18 years. Of these, 55 lakh are women.
The theme for this year is ‘Addressing Drug Challenges in Health and Humanitarian Crises’ underlining the importance of a holistic approach in curbing the menace of drugs in the society.
Looking at the present drug trafficking scenario in the state, the DGP said that due to the close proximity to the golden triangle, Meghalaya has become a major transit point for drug trafficking and this has put the authorities on a very high alert to tackle the menace.
The DGP also gave a detailed presentation on the prominent drug trafficking routes in the state and the modus operandi commonly used for trafficking of drugs.
The DGP informed that the department has come out with a strategic plan by strengthening infrastructure and nurturing coordination among all stakeholders, besides frequent operations by law enforcers and organising multiple awareness programme in schools, colleges, villages and towns and other activities.
He also informed that in the past 15 days, Meghalaya Police has conducted a record 142 drug awareness programmes in schools, colleges and other public places across the state reaching out to over 15,000 young people.
Addressing the gathering, chief guest Prestone Tynsong, Deputy Chief Minister, said that drug abuse or drug addiction is a psychiatric, social and psychological problem that not only affects the youth but the society as a whole. Drugs ruin the individuals and the society manifold- socially, physically, culturally, emotionally and economically, he said.
On the other hand, Home Minister Lahkmen Rymbui stressed on the need to hold drug awareness programmes in schools and colleges so that children and youth can be aware of the harmful effects of substance abuse. Only when youth have the strength to say no to drugs, the purpose of the commemoration of this day is achieved, he said.
Chief Secretary Rebecca V Suchiang, while highlighting the perils of drug abuse, stressed on the importance to educate young children about the dangers of drugs and alcohol abuse and the need to provide them the emotional support so that they do not develop the need to turn to substance use for comfort. She also appealed to parents, teachers and all sections of society to prioritize support, education and protection of youth against substance abuse and to work together to safeguard their physical and mental health.
Others who were present include Dr Pakha Tesia, MD (Psychiatry), Mind and Wellness Clinic, Bryan Wallang, Principal, Kiddies Corner HS School, Shillong, besides other guests.
Other programmes of the day included a skit on drug abuse by Kripa Foundation De-addiction Centre for Juveniles, Mawkasiang, and sharing of testimonies by patients of KJPA New Hope De-addiction Centre for Males, Mawdiangdiang, and Kripa Foundation De-addiction Centre for Juveniles, Mawkasiang.
The audience was also enthralled by songs presented by Neil Umwi & Desmond Rimiki Sun, Meghalaya Police Cultural Troupes and Khaki Vibes.
Sampath Kumar, Principal Secretary, Social Welfare Department delivered the welcome and introductory speech while Shri. Pravin Bakshi, Commissioner & Secretary, Social Welfare Department offered the vote of thanks.
Another highlight of the day was the felicitation of police officers by the chief guest.

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