The Union Cabinet on Thursday approved a slew of measures for the rehabilitation of drug addicts. These include provision of grant of food for below poverty line addicts and setting up of Integrated Centres for Rehabilitation of Addicts with flexibility regarding number of beds and duration of stay for addicts at the centres.
Panchayati Raj institutions will be eligible to run these Centres. Union Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Meira Kumar made these announcements at a function in the capital today to mark the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. Kumar informed that the Ministry was already implementing a scheme for prevention of alcoholism and substance abuse, under which NGOs are supported to run counselling and treatment cum rehabilitation centres. With the addition of 24 new centres in 2007-08, the total number of such centres had reached 401, she said.
‘Be like British’
The party he represents may have been in the forefront of the freedom struggle, but Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Youth Affairs and Sports M.S. Gill sees British rule in India as an ideal one when it comes to prevention of alcoholism.
Speaking at a programme organised by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment on International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, Gill said that while the British did not permit liquor shops in rural areas and in the vicinity of schools and hospitals, liquor shops today are looked upon as the main source of revenue for the state and being promoted. "Though we cannot entirely ban alcohol, we should be cautious like the British while allowing liquor shops to be opened," he said.