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Anti-drugs success rate in M’laya 20 pc: Paul

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By Our Reporter

SHILLONG, May 20: Meghalaya’s rate of success in the war against drugs is 15% more than the national mark of 5%, Social Welfare Minister Paul Lyngdoh said on Monday.
He attributed this success to the support from the SHGs, NGOs, and traditional institutions.
“The success rate in tackling the drug menace in Meghalaya is 20% compared to the national average of 5%,” he told journalists.
“We need to make this a very effective war through which the state machinery and the community are pro-actively able to eradicate drug trafficking in the state,” he said.
Lyngdoh said the line departments need to interact and coordinate more to strengthen the fight against drugs. “We have to increase the manpower and improve the performance of the ANTF in East Jaintia Hills, which is the entry point for the Khasi-Jaintia region. This will happen once the recruitment of police and home guards takes place. A few of them will be trained for anti-narcotics activities,” he added.
“A new DGP has just taken over. We will incentivize the Home Department through our DREAM (Drug Reduction and Action Mission) project to organise police programmes involving some of the VDPs,” he said, insisting the new strategies will yield results soon.
Lyngdoh said Meghalaya has more than 12 lakh male and female drug users.
Apart from enforcing stricter laws and policing, the government is seeking community support to wean the addicts away from the habit. In line with this, the Social Welfare Department on Monday cleared the second instalment of Rs 15,65,275 to the Mawlai Town Dorbar (MTD) as part of the DREAM.
The MTD is the first traditional institution that has offered its services to accommodate about 30 drug addicts through counselling and livelihood programmes.  “I had a meaningful interaction with the leaders of the Mawlai Town Dorbar and more importantly, we released the Rs 15 lakh, which is over and above the first instalment of Rs 6 lakh released in November 2023 to facilitate its anti-drug campaign,” Lyngdoh said.
He said the instalment will help the Dorbar amplify its activities and reach out to more drug addicts, helping them return to their families and lead normal lives.
He appealed to the other Dorbar Shnongs to provide land for the government to set up de-addiction facilities. In the last general meeting, the Dorbar Shnongs said they could provide their community halls temporarily to set up such facilities.
Lyngdoh said the Centre is supporting 10 rehabilitation or de-addiction centres but space and lack of trained manpower have been the problems. “We are talking with a group of trained counsellors and psychiatrists. Something will come up in a couple of months,” he added.
Marco Mitri, the Rangbah Shnong of Mawlai Kynton Massar said, “We cannot be complacent any more as the drugs are penetrating the remote corners of the state. The role of the Dorbar Shnong is very crucial as the addicts are a part of the families under the control of the Dorbar Shnong.”

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