ITANAGAR: Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Tuesday called upon the people, especially the youths, to join hands with the state government in the fight against drug abuse and asserted that if the society remains in the vicious grip, future of state will never be bright. Speaking at the inaugural ceremony of the three-day celebration of the 41st Annual Day of the Dera Natung Government College (DNGC) here, Khandu said the state government is determined to eradicate drug abuse from the society but it cannot do it alone. “If youths, who are the future of the state, fall into the drug-trap, our future will be bleak. Therefore, it is the responsibility of every member of the society to join hands against this evil,” he said.
While revealing that drug addiction has become a major challenge for the state, mostly affecting the young, Khandu informed that the state government has adopted the Arunachal Pradesh Psychoactive Substances Policy 2021. “We are dealing with the problem with three principles: supply reduction, demand reduction and harm reduction. Enforcement is being strengthened with strict action against drug peddlers and commercial middlemen. De-addiction centers are being developed while we are mainly focusing on counseling, early detection and empowering communities through promoting alternative crops for livelihood,” he said.
The Chief Minister added that de-addiction and rehabilitation centers will have skill development and training facilities so that once cured the youths can join the mainstream with sustainable livelihood skills. “Government and I as Chief Minister can’t solve everything. A social movement, where all of us speak in one voice, walk in one pace, dream a common goal is need of the time,” he said. Lauding the students of the college for the excellent parade and a beautiful mega group dance presentation braving the heavy showers, Khandu said it exuberated the positive energy of the young students. “This positive energy should radiate from our youths through all stages of life. I can vouch that you will successfully face all challenges that life is sure to throw at you,” he said.
Pema Khandu hailed DNGC, one of the oldest colleges of the state now with 14 departments, for producing distinct luminaries who are serving the state in various capacities. He called upon the alumni of the college to give back to their alma mater in whatever possible manner they can. “The state government is committed to maintenance and growth of an institution but it is also the duty of the alumni to give back to the institution that made them what they are today,” he said.
Responding to a three-point memorandum submitted to him that includes construction of a new parking shed for at least 1000 two-wheelers, a public gallery with steel roof and capacity of 1000 people and construction of a mini indoor sports complex, Khandu assured that all projects will be sanctioned within this financial year. “I will immediately depute an expert team from the education department to visit the college, which will recommend to the government the way the projects can be implemented and funds will be sanctioned. Not only the three demands, I will see to it that the approach road to the college is reconstructed in a much better way,” he announced. The Chief Minister was accompanied by Home Minister Bamang Felix, an alumnus of the college.