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Punjab CM Amarinder launches anti-drugs drive on Bhagat Singh’s martyrdom day

The chief minister appealed to one and all to become a part of the anti-drugs campaign of the government, stating that it was the collective responsibility of all to rescue youth from the clutches of drugs.

punjab Updated: Mar 23, 2018 17:31 IST
Press Trust of India, Khatkar Kalan (Nawanshahr)
Bhagat Singh martyrdom day,anti drug drive,Amarinder Singh
Leading the campaign, Amarinder became the state’s first DAPO (Drug Abuse Prevention Officer) , with STF chief Harpreet Singh Sidhu handing over the DAPO Identity Card to him at Khatkar Kalan, the ancestral village of Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh(Pardeep Pandit/HT )

Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh on Friday paid tributes to Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev on their martyrdom day with a vow to empower the youth and launched the Drug Abuse Prevention Officers (DAPO) programme to wipe out the menace of drugs from the state.

He said that the DAPO programme, marking the Youth Empowerment Day, will involve dedicated volunteers to work in their localities in coordination with the local administration, police and STF in the anti-drug drive.

On the occasion during a state level function here, as part of a state-wide oath-taking ceremony, Amarinder took the DAPO oath, and also administered it to other volunteers, thanking them for joining his government’s efforts to rid the state of the problem of drugs.

The state cabinet ministers simultaneously administered the DAPO oath to volunteers in various district headquarters.

Leading the campaign, Amarinder became the state’s first DAPO, with STF chief Harpreet Singh Sidhu handing over the DAPO Identity Card to him at Khatkar Kalan, the ancestral village of Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh.

The chief minister then carried the chain forward by presenting a similar card to local government minister Navjot Singh Sidhu and two citizen volunteers, an official spokesman said here.

He said that more than 4.25 lakh DAPO volunteers had already registered on the DAPO website as part of the campaign and more applications were likely to flow in.

The chief minister appealed to one and all to become a part of the anti-drugs campaign of the government, stating that it was the collective responsibility of all to rescue youth from the clutches of drugs, which was destroying future generations.

It was important for everyone to support the government in this fight against drugs in the interest of the state’s development and progress, he added.

The chief minister recalled his visit to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands post Tsunmai, where thousands of Punjabi freedom fighters had jailed for raising the banner of revolt against the British tyranny, and exhorted the people to take inspiration from their sacrifices.

Referring to a demand for naming the Mohali International Airport after legendary martyr Shaheed-E-Azam Sardar Bhagat Singh, Amarinder said the Punjab government had already taken up this issue with the central government, and he would personally pursue the same.

On the occasion, the chief minister laid a wreath at the statue of Bhagat Singh and also paid floral tributes at the memorial of the martyr’s father, Sardar Kishan Singh.

He also dedicated to the nation the Shaheed-e-Azam Sardar Bhagat Singh Memorial and Museum to commemorate the sacrifices of the great martyrs.

Earlier, paying glowing tributes to the great sons of the soil, Sidhu urged the youth to seek inspiration from their supreme sacrifice to imbibe themselves with the spirit of patriotism.

He said that students in schools/colleges and even higher institutes of learning should be brought to the Memorial and Museum here at Khatkar Kalan to connect them with Punjab’s rich legacy of nationalism and patriotism.

Sidhu requested the chief minister to formulate a policy for youth, who constitute 56 per cent of the state’s total population, to provide them with quality education and gainful employment in order to control the trend of brain drain and bring youngsters back to their land.

Among the special invitees at the programme were the family members of Shaheed-E-Azam Bhagat Singh, including Abhey Singh Sandhu, Harjiwanpal Singh Gill, Jagjiwanpal Singh Gill, Kiranjit Sandhu, Manjeet Kaur, Anshuka and Anushpriya.

Family members of Shaheed Sukhdev, including Ashok Thapar, Tribhuvan Thapar and Vinod Thapar were also present.

First Published: Mar 23, 2018 17:31 IST