Shillong, June 25: Meghalaya joined hands with the rest of the world to observe International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking today, the 25th June, 2022. In the State capital, Shillong, the observation was held at U Soso Tham Auditorium, wherein the Deputy Chief Minister of Meghalaya, Prestone Tynsong was the Chief Guest and Meghalaya Minister, i/c Home (Police), Lahkmen Rymbui was the Guest of Honour.
The observation was organized by the Social Welfare Department, Meghalaya and Meghalaya Police in partnership with NGOs and Foundations and other related stakeholders. The theme for this year’s observation is Drug Challenges in Health and Humanitarian Crises.”
In his address as the Chief Guest, the Deputy Chief Minister said that drug abuse or drug addiction is a psychiatric, social and psychological problem that not only affect the youth but to the society as a whole. Drugs ruin the individuals and the society manifold- socially, physically, culturally, emotionally and economically, he said.
Expressing concern on the increasing number of drug users among the children and youth in the State, Tynsong said that children can easily succumb to the pressures of their peers and friends to turn to these intoxicants for comfort. On this day, he called upon various organisations to eradicate this menace and emphasize on addressing the challenges of illegal drugs so that the youth of the State are protected.
Lahkmen Rymbui, Home (Police) Minister, 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 this observation is achieved, he said.
The Meghalaya 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.
Dr. Pakha Tesia, MBBS, MD (Psychiatry) Mind and Wellness Clinic spoke on drug challenges from the health perspective and how to address it while Shri. Bryan Wallang, Principal Kiddies Corner HS School, Shillong spoke on Humanitarian Crises in current drug menace.
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. 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.