Today, Abhishek Bachchan will flag off an Awareness Run Against Drug Abuse. The two-kilometre run along the Marine Drive starts at NCPA, Nariman Point, at 7.30 am, and culminates at the Police Gymkhana where eminent speakers from various NGOs will address the issue.
Aimed at creating awareness amongst the youth, and sensitising them on the social consequences and the ill-effects of drug consumption, the symbolic run is part of the silver jubilee celebrations of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), the national nodal agency that catches traffickers and seizes contraband drugs, co-ordinates on enforcement activities with other agencies across the country, and trains officers.
Yashodhan Wanage, zonal director, NCB, points out that in the last three years, the Mumbai branch has busted as many as 10 labs manufacturing synthetic drugs, and seized 400 kilos of hashish in the last 12 months alone.
“This proves that manufacture and trafficking is on the rise despite our best efforts which makes this run so important. We believe that if we can bring down demand, it will reduce supply as well,” reasons Wanage. “The drug menace is spreading rapidly amongst youngsters, and unless we unitedly stand up against it, it will soon become difficult to control.”
Abhishek was chosen because he is a youth icon with a spotless image whom the generation next looks up to. “Also, he is a Bachchan with star power whose forthcoming film, Dum Maro Dum, has him playing a cop fighting the drug cartel that perfectly matches the profile of the NCB,” points out Wanage.
He adds that he was pleasantly surprised by the star’s ready acceptance to be a part of the initiative, and support the cause. “He’s been very proactive and promised to come half-an-hour before the rally to talk to the media and give out a strong anti-drug message,” says Wanage.
Abhishek himself is really upbeat, “I’m excited to be a part of a socially relevant endevour. It’s an honour and I’m happy to be contributing to this in my own small way.”