Formally kickstarting a campaign against drugs in association with the Punjab government, social activist and former IPS officer of India Kiran Bedi on Sunday held meetings with Punjab DGP Sumedh Singh Saini and other senior police functionaries in Jalandhar to devise a strategy.
Bedi, after the meeting in which people from NGOs and some rehab experts were also present, said that a place had been finalised for a separate de-addiction centre for women.
“In a meeting on the issue earlier with CM Parkash Singh Badal, the need to have a special de-addiction centre for women was felt. It’s only a matter of announcement now, and this would be the country’s first de-addiction centre especially for women,” said Bedi.
The meeting was attended by the IGP incharge of the state narcotics control bureau Ishwar Singh and Jalandhar police commissioner Kunwar Vijay Pratap.
“The meeting also concluded that there would be three stages of our de-addiction campaign. One is to make sure there is no supply of drugs. Second is de-addiction treatment, and the third is rehabilitation. This model has been successfully tried in other states and proved to be a big success,” she claimed.
Bedi further said she was convinced that the commitment of the Punjab police was absolutely clear that no one would be allowed to indulge in drug trade. She added that there was immediate need to spread awareness about the ‘181’ helpline. “Anyone having information about the sale of drugs can call the helpline number. As many as 92 FIRs have been registered by the police after getting info at the helpline,” she said.
Another decision taken during the meeting was to sensitise people that the drug addicts need help and should not be treated shabbily. For this, at police station level, the cops would establish proper coordination with de-addiction centres and NGOs and hospitals working in their areas; there would be regular meetings of all stakeholders. “The biggest question always remains, ‘what after de-addiction?’ We will start skill-development programmes,” she said.
All these recommendations would be put before the state-level committee formed by the CM to tackle drug issue within a few days.