Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah feels drug abuse in Kashmir valley has reached dangerous proportions, even higher than militancy.
Addressing a gathering at Sumbal in north Kashmir's Bandipora district on Wednesday, the CM described drug abuse as more dangerous than militancy.
"It is being observed that notorious elements induce drug addiction in children and use them for their vested interests," Abdullah was quoted by an official spokesman, while relating it to the highest crime against humanity.
The chief minister said children in Jammu and Kashmir had suffered most during the period of militancy. "Their education, health and social fabric deteriorated and they had to live in an atmosphere of fear and uncertainty," he said. "This has put them under stress and spoiled their development process."
He said that while the measures put in place by the government had brought substantial improvement in the situation, the march towards achieving the final goal in this direction had to be carried on with commitment.
Speaking at the function organised by the National Commission of Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) on National Children's Day, the chief minister said religious, political, social and non-governmental organisations should work to eradicate the evil and save the future of the state from falling prey to the designs of un-scrupulous elements.
Abdullah said while the government has stepped up its vigil against the misuse of drugs and measures have been taken to rehabilitate and reform drug addicts, "it is also the duty of the people to positively extend their support in this regard".
Abdullah claimed his government has focused on education of children. "We are improving infrastructure in schools and making atmosphere conducive and attractive for children," he said, maintaining that the emphasis is on increasing the number of girls enrolled in schools.
"We are also working to reduce the drop-out percentage and persuade parents to send their children back to schools so that they are able to complete their schooling," he said.
"A half-read child finds it very difficult to settle down," he said and advised the children to concentrate on studies and make persuasion of higher and technical education their goal.