Manoj Sinha led Admin believes, ‘Sports brought visible positive changes on ground in UT’

Ishtiyaq Kar

Srinagar Oct 03 (KNS): The Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory government led by Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha has taken several initiatives in the sports field with an aim to create awareness about ill effects of substance abuse among the youth.
One of the top officials assigned the job, of engaging youth in sports activities told news agency Kashmir News Service (KNS), that Drugs seem to have been devastating the lives of youth in the valley. “The government has made several schemes for promotion of sports and to involve youth towards them. The Administration has asked officials to engage youth towards sports aimed to stop them from diverting towards other activities,” the official said, insisting not to be named.
He said that sports can play a vital role in ending the drug menace. “Parents must encourage their children to actively participate in sports. The drugs are harming the youth badly. Sports can play a vital role in ending the drug menace,” the official said.  
“A comprehensive policy was framed for constructing playing fields across the Union territory to engage the youth in sports and persuade them to shun drug use,” he said and added that  there are many teams who are working for engagement of youth in sports to stop them from diverting towards other activities.
“They have been tasked with promoting youth engagement and sports activities and finalising the programme pertaining to sports and youth engagement policies,” the official said.
He said that the teams have been asked to keep scope for inclusion of cultural activities, career counseling, personality development, drug de-addiction programmes, advocacy campaigns against social evils.
“Special allocation of funds was made for development of different facilities like gymnasiums, entertainment halls, career counseling centres.”
A senior official said that the government was taking measures to develop sports infrastructure in Jammu and Kashmir.
“There is easy availability of drugs.We can counter this drug menace only through sports. The government has been promoting sports under different programmes which has brought a visible positive change on the ground,” the official said.
It is to mention here that the Jammu and Kashmir Police have arrested nearly 4837 drug peddlers in the last three years in Kashmir, as a part of a concerted drive against substance abuse in the Valley.
Additional Director General of Police, Kashmir, Vijay Kumar had said that the war against the drug menace will continue with more vigour.
Kumar had requested the community members to be part of the campaign by coming forward with any information regarding drug peddling in their neighbourhoods.
“Our consistent actions against drug peddlers should reassure the community members that we are making efforts to keep our society free from the scourge of drug menace and to secure the future of our youth,” he had added.
One of the observers said that it has been seen that Kashmir has a tremendous rise in substance over the past decade.
“During the last 30 years, a good chunk of Kashmiri youth have been lured to drug addiction, as a futile attempt to escape from the harsh realities of life. It is increasing day by day and is one of the public challenges apart from the devastating consequences for the users and social disintegration of the family and community,” the observer said.
He said that the need of the hour is to help such people as, “we have lost one generation to bullets and now when the peace has returned, we may lose another generation to drugs,”
“As is said, prevention is always better than cure. It is always the best option to deter people from drug abuse. It is not easy to quit addiction all at once. It is a long and gradual process and has to be dealt with smartly and wisely”.(KNS)

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