Describing drug-abuse as worst enemy of the civilization and dangerous than militancy, Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah Wednesday appealed all sections of the society to work together to save children from illicit use of drugs.
“It is being observed that notorious elements induce drug addiction in children and use them for their vested interests”, he said relating it to the highest crime against humanity and called for unified approach against this sin.
Speaking at a function organized by National Commission of Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) in Bandipora district to observe “National Children’s Day”, the Chief Minister said that religious, political, social and non-governmental organizations should jointly work to eradicate this evil and save the future of the State from falling prey to the designs of nu-scrupulous elements.
Omar Abdullah said that while government has enhanced its vigil over the misuse of drugs and measures have been taken to rehabilitate and reform the drug addicts, “it is also the duty of the people to positively extend their support in this regard”.
The Chief Minister said that children in Jammu and Kashmir have suffered most during the period of militancy. “Their education, health and social fabric has got tarnished and they had to live in an atmosphere of fear and uncertainty”, he said adding that this has put them under stress and spoiled their process of development. He said that while the measures put in place by the government have brought substantial improvement in the situation, the march towards achieving the final goal in this direction has to be carried on with commitment.
Stating that education is of key importance to nurture and develop children and upgrade their skills to become responsible citizens, the Chief Minister said that his government has put this aspect under focus and educational facilities are being universalized across the State. “We are improving infrastructure in schools and making atmosphere conducive and attractive for children”, he said maintaining that the emphases is on increasing the ratio of girl child in schools.
“We are also working to reduce the drop out percentage and persuade the patents to send back their children to schools so that they are able to complete the education”, he said adding that present age is the age of competition and merit holds key to success. “A half-read child finds it very difficult to get settled in the society”, he said and advised the children to concentrate on studies and make persuasion of higher and technical education their goal. He said that government is addressing the financial constraints of poorer students by providing them scholarships and other assistance besides enhancing their opportunities to seek higher education nearer to their homes.
Omar Abdullah said that his government is also concentrating on ensuring and protecting child rights, and is working jointly with the NCPCR in this regard. He said that various Central and State sponsored schemes are being implemented in the State to protect child rights and help their holistic development.