Government Initiates Evaluation Of ‘Nasha Mukt’ Village Claims


SRINAGAR: The Government of Jammu and Kashmir is taking a comprehensive approach to evaluate claims regarding “Nasha Mukt” (drug-free) villages before certifying them, The Daily Excelsior reported.

A committee has been formed to establish Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for this purpose. Additionally, the government has issued directives for an extensive anti-drug campaign in all 20 districts, involving various stakeholders, particularly the youth.

Official sources, while speaking to The Daily Excelsior confirmed that in certain districts, the local administration has asserted that some villages are entirely “Nasha Mukt.” There is also optimism about achieving this status in more villages in the coming months. This matter was discussed during a meeting chaired by Chief Secretary Dr Arun Kumar Mehta, prompting the need for SOP formulation.

The SOP will play a crucial role in objectively assessing such claims before granting the “Nasha Mukt” certification, in accordance with Government of India guidelines. The sources revealed to The Daily Excelsior that the Commissioner Secretary of the General Administration Department has been tasked with crafting the SOP in consultation with the Commissioner Secretary of the Social Welfare Department and the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Crime. The draft SOP is expected to be finalised promptly, pending approval from the Additional Chief Secretary, Home.

The Chief Secretary has emphasised the urgency of addressing the drug menace and has called for immediate action. All concerned departments have been directed to initiate an extensive “Nasha Mukt Abhiyaan” (Drug-Free Campaign) throughout the Union Territory, actively engaging Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) and youth.

Notably, Circular No.30-JK(GAD) dated September 3, 2022, had already issued detailed instructions to various government departments, outlining the importance of raising awareness about drug addiction, identifying users and suppliers, and rehabilitating victims. However, after some initial efforts in September 2022, there was a decline in activities.

In response to this, sources quoted the Chief Secretary’s recent directions in a high-level meeting, stressing that the drug addiction issue is serious and requires continuous efforts. They emphasized a multi-level campaign and inter-departmental approach at the Union Territory, district, and Panchayat levels to tackle this menace.

Specific departmental responsibilities were outlined, with the Social Welfare Department actively involving Anganwari workers and ASHA workers in identifying drug abuse victims and facilitating their rehabilitation. The Rural Development Department is expected to collaborate with PRIs in identifying drug users and passing resolutions through Gram Sabhas to combat the issue.

The School and Higher Education Departments are tasked with ensuring regular teaching on drug abuse and its adverse effects. The Health Department will conduct regular counseling sessions for drug addicts and ensure the availability of adequate substitute drugs for home-detoxification. They will also conduct research, surveys, and impact assessments on substance use.

The Urban Local Bodies are responsible for spreading awareness about drug abuse in their localities through mobile vans and conducting regular checks in public areas. The Home Department will enforce the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act rigorously throughout the Union Territory, track supply sources, and destroy illicitly grown poppy and cannabis regularly while mapping drug farming areas.

Lastly, the Transport Department will involve transport associations actively in the awareness campaign, ensuring the display of anti-drug messages on both public and private transport vehicles. The Floriculture Department will ensure that gardens under its control are not misused by drug victims or peddlers.


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