The news story that some drug pedlars have been arrested by the police in South Kashmir may sound as nothing new, as we are now familiar with such things. But that is where the problem is stationed. We now take the news related to drug addiction as just another news. We read it and flip the page or scroll down the screen. Our level of sensitivity has dipped, and it is not a good sign for us as a society. There was a time when such things would cause great consternation and people would express their anguish in many different ways. In fact we had many civil society formations that were very active to fight this menace of drug pedalling and substance abuse. It is true that we had to face much at a collective level for past some time, and we are still reeling under the effects of the events that we have gone through. In fact the latest in the series is still not over as the pandemic is consuming life over life and putting an unprecedented pressure on the economy at individual and household levels.
That was bound to crowd out certain other issues that were otherwise very crucial for us to address. But now it is time to reset our priorities as a society and also put consistent pressure on the concerned government departments to nab the culprits and take necessary action. In this backdrop some of the civil society formations need to address this problem of drug addiction more seriously and work for its eradication. But in doing so certain things have to kept in mind. One, our activism should be informed by right information. Normally in such matters we confuse information with popular perception. We should neither exaggerate nor undermine any information. We should rather have a professional way of gathering, receiving and interpreting information. Two, we should avoid getting emotional about it, and take it as a problem to be eradicated. It needs counselling, not derision to reach out the youth who are victims of this abuse. Three, we need to identify a pool of professionals who can sensitise people on the matters related to drug abuse. And on top of it we need to map the problems that lead to this menace. An early intervention at the level of families, localities, and schools can deliver good results.