Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India], October 3 (ANI): Excise and Local Self-Government Minister M V Govindan Master said the deaddiction campaign of the State Excise Department and Vimukthi Mission will be ramped up by forming Vimukthi Clubs in all educational institutions before Gandhi Jayanthi next year, said a press release by the State Excise Department on Sunday.
Inaugurating a month-long, state-wide addiction-free awareness campaign, the Minister said such programmes will be organised in over 20,000 wards across the state with public participation.
The Minister said a sustained campaign needs to be carried out to create proper awareness against addiction. "Such a campaign should take the message down to the ward level by enlisting the support of all sections of the society to achieve the goals set out by it", he said.
A series of programmes will be held across the state during this month highlighting the grievous consequences of addiction to drugs and intoxicants. The main aim of the Vimukthi Mission is to spread awareness among the youth regarding the ill effects of drug abuse, as per the release.
The Minister further said that falling prey to addictions will affect future generations. Hence, the activities in the Mission should reach all institutions to uproot this menace.
"We are living in times when even children fall prey to this evil. This will seriously affect future generations. The activities of Vimukthi Mission should reach to all educational institutions in the state as our ultimate aim is to root out this menace", the Minister said.
Master further pointed out that the addiction has reached a dangerous level and has begun to affect the mental health of the victims. He also talked about the vitality of building a healthy society.
"Addiction to intoxicants has reached such a dangerous level that it has begun to affect the social consciousness and mental health of its victims. Tackling this challenge is vital to building a healthy society", Govindan Master said, noting that the Excise Department has started planned efforts in that direction.
Transport Minister Antony Raju, presiding over the function, said the authorities of educational institutions should take utmost care to ensure that students will not get access to addictive substances.
"We should also be alert to efforts by vested interests to sabotage programmes against addiction. This has to be properly factored in while planning and carrying out the addiction-free campaign," Antony Raju said.
According to the press release, the Excise Minister also released a CD of short films on the awareness programmes conducted by Vimukthi Mission by handing it over to District Panchayat president D Suresh Kumar at the function.
Messages of Mahatma Gandhi, who waged a battle against drug addiction through his constructive programmes, will be propagated on a mission mode as part of the campaign, whose prime target is youth, said the release.
A bicycle rally from Kowdiar Square to the inaugural venue was also flagged off by MLA V K Prasanth as a prelude to the campaign.
Excise Commissioner S Aananthakrishnan said that addiction to intoxicants is one of the grim internal challenges faced by society. The Excise Department and Vimukthi Mission have charted a meticulously planned campaign to root out this evil.
Additional Excise Commissioner and Vimukthi Mission CEO D Rajeev, while unveiling the details of the drive said that extensive arrangements have also been made for providing counselling and treatment services.
Notably, Vimukthi Mission, headed by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, had conducted a highly successful de-addiction campaign in the state in 2020. (ANI)