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Govt to hold meet with MLAs, MDCs & Dorbar Shnongs

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SHILLONG, June 5: To address the growing issue of substance abuse in Meghalaya, the state government will hold a crucial meeting with the MLAs, MDCs and Dorbar Shnongs of the Greater Shillong Area on Friday.
According to a statement here, the meeting, which will be held at 2 pm at the State Convention Centre, Shillong, will be organised by the State Social Welfare Department, in collaboration with the Home (Police) Department and the Office of the East Khasi Hills Deputy Commissioner.
“This initiative is part of the Drug Reduction Elimination & Action Mission (DREAM) launched in June 2023 – a targeted mission to build a ‘Drug-Free Meghalaya’ that deploys a multifaceted coordinated strategy and leverages the combined efforts of the state and local communities to eliminate the incidence of substance use in the state,” the statement said.
It may be mentioned that
Social Welfare Minister Paul Lyngdoh has appealed to the Dorbar Shnongs of Greater Shillong to attend the meeting. “Their participation and support will be crucial in the state’s collective effort to combat substance abuse and build a safer, drug-free Meghalaya,” the statement said.
It may be noted that as per the Meghalaya Village Defence Organisation Rules 2008, the village defence parties (VDPs) assist the police in maintaining law and order, conducting patrols, and preventing crimes such as theft and burglary.
Drugs also come under the ambit of their duties and functions.
“DREAM has identified the need to build a robust and well-trained network of Village Defence Parties (VDPs) equipped with necessary resources and tools to combat drug abuse and trafficking. Composed of trusted local volunteers from within the communities, the plan is to revamp and reorganize them across the state, with a particular focus on identified drugs and substance use hotspots, including Shillong. Empowering VDPs with these capabilities is aimed at creating a vigilant and proactive community defense mechanism that not only maintains law and order but will also actively contribute to a Drug Free Meghalaya,” the statement said.
It may be mentioned that under the initiative, comprehensive training will be provided on drug detection and prevention, ensuring regular coordination with police and existing health service nodal persons, and fostering strong community engagement through social and behavioural change campaigns and awareness programmes.

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