Punjab health minister Surjit Jayani, in a round table discussion on drug menace held at PHD Chambers of Commerce claimed that schools have become an easy target for drug peddlers in Punjab. The discussion was organised by Joshi foundation.
He claimed that students, in order to fulfil their needs which are mostly aimed towards showing off their status, are landing them into an unseen hell.
"Students are easily approachable to the drug peddlers and they somehow trap them using their influence and hitting their greed. It is a known fact that drugs are found with students in the schools, colleges and universities. Students fix deals while sitting in canteens, which is a matter of concern. The reason behind the current situation is the changing environment in the educational institutions," he said.
"Earlier, teachers used to be strict with the students but they are no more afraid of the teachers. Therefore we conduct medical checkups from time to time in schools in order to make students aware about the ill effects of drug abuse," Jayani added.
Avinash Rai Khanna, MP from Punjab who also mediated the discussion quoting a research study said that arms, petroleum products and drugs are the three most flourishing businesses today. He also expressed his anxiety over school students getting indulged in drugs.
"I think that the students should be given a one year army training in order to make them disciplined," Khanna said.
Harjit Singh Grewal, chairman of the Punjab Khadi and Village Industries Board expressed a greater concern over the increasing drug abuse in the state. Hitting at police officials, he said that a large number of police officials themselves take drugs. "I am more worried because of the reality that the people who should be restricting drugs in the state, a large proportion of them are daily drug consumers. Moreover, I am worried about the increase in synthetic drugs which is really dangerous for the youth," he said.
Various doctors representing their respective districts highlighted the shocking observations. Dr RS Bhandari from Muktsar claimed, "I was shocked to know that many of the prisoners who were brought to me for the treatment were HIV positive. They do not have access to the new syringes and they use a common syringe and ultimately they get HIV virus in their bodies. Police need to restrain such activities and also need to stop entertaining the spoiled brats of VIP's."
He added that many young mothers are addicted to drugs which ultimately affect the infants. "Drug consumption has become common in women as well due to reasons best known to them. Many times, we had to keep the new born baby in the ICU, which is a sad reality today," he added.
Vijay Sampla, minister of state for social justice and empowerment in India claimed that government is making efforts with the coordination of health teams to restrict the drug use in the country.