Shopian: In an attempt to keep the scourge of drugs off the society, the civil society members and social activists in south Kashmir's Shopian town organised an anti-drug rally.
The streets and thoroughfares of the town reverberated with the slogans like 'say no to drugs' and 'drug free Shopian' for a couple of hours. Donning uniforms, the students from several schools including Government Girls Higher Secondary School, Greenland Educational Institute, Mohammadiya Institution and Oxford Educational Institute participated in the rally.
Prominent social activist Magray Mansoor, who organised the rally told Greater Kashmir that it was crucial to raise awareness among the people, given the alarming rise of drug addict cases in the area.
"We will continue our fight against the menace", Mansoor said. He said that in the past they had also organised such rallies and programs to keep the menace at bay.
Mitha Gatoo, another social activist said that the rampant use of drugs among youth had become a serious cause concern in the area.
"Inside parks you could see young men rolling cannabis joints and jabbing syringes into their arms", Gatoo said. He said that their objective was to make Shopian a drug-free area and they were making unceasing efforts towards that end.
The district has been caught in the throes of drugs for the past several years and the meance, according to the civil society members, has reached to the levels never seen before. The youth aged between 16 to 27 are taking different types of drugs.
Officails from Addiction Treatment Facility (ATF) at District Hospital Shopian said that they received around 270 drug addict patients since January this year. Dr Adil Farooq, Medical Officer at ATF told Greater Kashmir that 95 percent of the patient would use hard drugs like heroin.
Another official, who declined to be quoted by his name, said that recently two persons in the area died due to the overdose of drugs.
Last December, the members from civil society and district administration organised a seminar at town hall Shopian to generate awareness among the people.
Peer Shabir, a prominent trader and social activist said that the need of the hour was to organise more such seminars and rallies.