Pramila Rani Brahma
Assam social welfare minister Pramila Rani Brahma speaking at an awareness session in Tangla town under Udalguri district on Saturdayand (right) a section of students at the session. Image credit – Northeast Now

Assam social welfare minister Pramila Rani Brahma on Saturday called for a ‘war’ against drugs and alcoholism.

Assam minister Brahma addressed a day-long awareness programme on ‘Prevention of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse’ at Bordoloi Bhawan in Tangla town of Udalguri district on Saturday.

Brahma while attending the awareness session expressed grave concern over the current scenario on drugs and alcohol threat and stressed the importance of understanding the psychology of teenage children.

The awareness programme on ‘Prevention of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse’ was held in a bid to fight against the menace of substance abuse.

The event was hosted by Alayaran, a Kokrajhar-based NGO in joint collaboration of Kokrajhar chapter of the state social welfare department and Udalguri chapter of All Bodo Women’s Forum (ABWF).

The session was inaugurated by Udalguri deputy commissioner Prakash Ranjan Gharphalia.

In her speech, minister Brahma also appealed to the hall-packed participants of students to be sensible and act responsibly towards mentally ill persons.

She called for the need of conducting sensitization sessions in other parts of Assam specifically the four districts of the Bodo belt – Udalguri, Chirang, Baksa and Kokrajhar – where there are reports of rampant abuse of drugs and alcohol among teenagers.

Brahma further reiterated the role played by the drugs and alcohol in the commission of crimes which is surging at an alarming rate in the nation.

“From patricide, rapes, murder range of crimes are committed under the influence of alcohol or drugs and hence there is a need of counselling to drug addicts and everyone in the society must be stakeholders for the noble cause,” she added.

Ratul Dey, counsellor of Nirmaan Rehabilitation Facility of Guwahati, spoke about substance abuse and his past as a drug abuser.

Recalling his earlier plight, he stressed that the role of society in rehabilitating drug users is paramount.

“Drug abusers get it from society itself. The same society at a point of time turns its back to a situation getting out of control.”

“Everyone of the society, including family, friends, administration and police must go hand-in-hand to tackle the drug menace. After all, a drug abuser is a part of society,” Dey said.

Attending the programme, another counsellor, Sristi Brahma, spoke about the role of teachers and government departments for an effective joint effort to end the social stigma.

Sahitya Akdemi awardee Dr. Rita Boro lauded the efforts of the NGO and minister Brahma for personally attending the event to save the upcoming generation from the grip of drugs.

The event was carried forward by various important topics such as understanding the psychology of teenage children, mental health in the current scenario, alcohol and drug abuse and preventive measures through slideshows.

Shajid Khan

Shajid Khan is Northeast Now Correspondent in Udalguri. He can be reached at: itsshajidkhan@gmail.com