Anti-drug committees at schools and colleges

Dhaka,  Sun,  24 September 2017
Published : 14 Aug 2017, 18:05:12 | Updated : 14 Aug 2017, 18:05:34

Anti-drug committees at schools and colleges

The approach to the problem of drug abuse has to be prudent and at the same time decisive. Students are the best warriors in this fight but those marshalling them must be wise and smart enough to bring it to a successful denouement
By forming anti-drug committees at 25,605 educational institutions across the country, the Department of Narcotics Control (DNC) has initiated a laudable move against drug abuse. There are 32,057 secondary and higher secondary educational institutions in the country and the DNC has already brought more than two-thirds of those institutions under this anti-drug drive. What the modus operandi of the committee will be is, however, going to make a difference or not in the prevalence of drug abuse. Mere formation of committee is no guarantee of eliminating the spread of the dreadful habit of drug addiction among the country's young population. Those running the drug empire are powerful people who can commit any crime in order to expand their trade. Obviously, students are no match in a frontal confrontation with drug traders. 

Then, how to carry forward the agenda of the programme against substance use? The DNC has a plan to impart training to conveners and member-secretaries of the committees. The module of the training is under the process. So it is too early to comment on the effectiveness of the proposed training. However, one thing is clear that the training will adequately make the trainees aware of the disastrous impact of drug abuse. In this case, the lessons from some voluntary groups successfully fighting against early (underage) marriage of girls can be useful. Yet such lessons will not be enough because campaigning against drug abuse will be considered antagonistic to both drug peddlers and drug abusers. They won't like it. The committees will have to convince all the students in their educational institutions that they have to keep away from the deadly habit. At the same time they will need everyone's support including parents and guardians. 

Even if drug traders are powerful people exerting enough money power, they cannot stand against entire society if they do not enjoy political patronage. One of the glaring examples is Tufan Sarker and his elder brother who under the umbrella of influential quarters wielding political power are alleged to have committed all kinds of crimes in Bogra. There are allegations of similar criminal records against a lawmaker from a constituency, close to Myanmar. If a campaign against drug trade and abuse directly affects them, they will not feel amused. Here is a tricky issue that politics should overcome in the interest of the nation and its future. There should be no compromise when it comes to drug dealing by whoever it may be. 

If this much can be ensured, local people are expected to stand united together in support of their sons and daughters studying in schools and colleges. The availability of phensedyl, hashish, heroin and yaba even in the hinterland of the country is a proof that there was a need for such a nationwide campaign long before. If the educated segments of people could resist the temptation of drug abuse, it would not catch the country like a conflagration. Now, the approach to the problem has to be prudent and at the same time decisive. Students are the best warriors in this fight but those marshalling them must be wise and smart enough to bring it to a successful denouement.

Editor : A.H.M Moazzem Hossain
Published by the Editor for International Publications Limited from Tropicana Tower (4th floor), 45, Topkhana Road, GPO Box : 2526 Dhaka- 1000 and printed by him from City Publishing House Ltd., 1 RK Mission Road, Dhaka-1000.
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