Bhubaneswar: Defying an early morning shower, hundreds of participants on Tuesday took part in a rally on the occasion of International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking from BMC Office to Master Canteen Square.
Students of various educational institutions, youth members of Biju Yuva Bahini, employees of BMC office, Excise Department and Commissionerate Police took part in the rally, which passed through Kalpana Square and Rajmahal Square before reaching its final destination.
Inaugurating the rally, Finance and Excise Minister Sashi Bhusan Behera said, “Drug abuse has become a major social menace across the world and we should be adopting extra care for our young generations so that they would be away from the harmful effects and the addiction from drugs.’’
Women and Child Development Minister Prafulla Samal requested the youth to adopt better lifestyle practices so that they would be away from drugs, always.
Tourism Minister Ashok Chandra Panda said, “The youth and the young children often start bad practices in life due to the wrong company. However, with patience, we have to manage them and let them realise the ill effects and recover from the situation.”
Popular actor, presenter and Chairman Odisha Film Development Corporation Satyabrata Tripathy, fondly called as Kuna Tripathy added, “by a resolution 42/112 of December 7, 1987, the UN General Assembly decided to observe June 26 as the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking as an expression of its determination to strengthen action and cooperation to achieve the goal of an international society free of drug abuse.”
“Supported each year by individuals, communities and various organizations all over the world, this global observance aims to raise awareness of the major problem that illicit drugs represent to society,” he added.
Saying about the theme of this year’s event “Listen First” the veteran actor said “Listen First – Listening to children and youth is the first step to help them grow healthy and safe” is an initiative to increase support for prevention of drug use that is based on science and is thus an effective investment in the well-being of children and youth, their families and their communities should be the focus.
MLA Bhubaneswar (North) Priyadarshi Mishra hoped that youths should remain informed about the bad effects of drugs through series of campaigns so that we can have a beautiful society and future.
BMC Mayor Ananta Narayan Jena requested all young participants to inspire their friends not to try drugs as a bad start could lead to a life-long addiction.
Television actress Arpita Kar said, “Bad and good things are part of our lives, but with better understanding and exposure we tend to adopt good things, which ultimately help the society at large.”
It can be mentioned here that the UN General Assembly held a Special Session (UNGASS) on drugs in April 2016. This Special Session marked an important milestone in achieving the goals set in the policy document of 2009 as “Political Declaration and Plan of Action on International Cooperation towards an Integrated and Balanced Strategy to Counter the World Drug Problem”, which defined action to be taken by Member States as well as goals to be achieved by 2019.
Principal Secretary Excise Department Nikunja Bihari Dhal said that the youth and young citizens should be exposed to more and more awareness activities so that they could imagine the ill effects of taking the banned substances and the society could be saved.