Cops help Mumbai colleges weed out drugs from their campuses
Mumbai city news: Police speak to students from 50 colleges to warn them about ill-effects of drugsmumbai Updated: Jul 17, 2017 01:06 IST
Last week, HT had reported that the city police found that the use of marijuana was increasing among college-goers. The finding was a result of a fortnight-long campaign to make city campuses free of drugs.
As part of this campaign, which started on July 26, the anti narcotics cell (ANC) of the police spoke to students from 50 colleges and schools in the city. The cell had appointed five units to carry out this campaign in various parts of the city, including malls and parks populated by youngsters. Activists from various non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and doctors were also roped in to help convince the students to stay away from drugs.
The police said that this year, they have shifted the focus of their anti-drug drive from degree colleges to junior colleges and schools. “We realised that the students from classes 8 to 12 are more susceptible to drug abuse,” said Shivdeep Lande, deputy commissioner of police (DCP), ANC. “If we make students aware of the ill-effects of drugs, they are more likely to stay away from them,” added police inspector Ninad Sawant, who headed one of the units.
The police, with the help of college authorities and National Service Scheme (NSS) volunteers, organised a variety of tools, such as presentations, speeches, street plays and posters, to convey their message. The students were administered an oath to stay away from drugs. “The students were educated about the symptoms of drug use. The affect of drug abuse was explained through various case studies,” said Neeraj Shukla, an assistant professor at St Andrew’s College in Bandra.
One of the highlights of the awareness campaign was the ‘open forums’ where students engaged in a free-wheeling discussion with police authorities. This interaction with the students helped police officials crackdown on drug peddlers in the vicinity of colleges.
The colleges found this campaign to be very useful. “It’s a very serious issue. We have found many students in our college using addictive substances,” said Toraskar Vidya, NSS Programme officer at Ambedkar College, Worli. “We received very good feedback from the colleges. The teachers think that these activities were the need of the hour,” said police sub-inspector Charu Chavan, who also headed one of ANC units.
However, academicians believe that they need to more than create awareness to dissuade students from using narcotics. “We encourage students to participate in sports and other cultural activities to channel their energies in the right direction,” said Neelam Arora, a teacher at Lala Lajpat Rai College.