A multi-pronged approach involving all stakeholders is vital for any campaign against drug abuse to be successful, according to Kumari Shibulal, Chairperson, Shibulal Family Philanthropic Initiative.
Speaking at the three-day International Forum on ‘Children Matter – Right to A Drug-free Childhood’ that began here today, Shibulal said collaborative efforts involving government machinery, police, the civil society, parents, schools, students and victims would help plug loopholes and yield desired results in creating a drug-free society for children.
“Just as the right to education, every child has a right to have a drug-free childhood. What matters is, as a society how we can guarantee that right”, Shibulal added.
It is also important to scale up awareness against drug abuse by making it part of school curriculum, which will make prevention, identification and intervention more effective, she said.
Penalties for peddling drugs and their sale to children should be made stricter by making the regulatory framework acting as a deterrent. The community involvement against drug abuse should be enhanced and parents educated about the tell-tale signs of substance abuse, Shibulal said.
She noted that Fourth Wave Foundation has been doing a stellar work as part of the Project VENDA campaign in Kerala by taking it up as a challenge to develop a working model to implement a peer-led prevention programme, she added.
The journal “Children Matter” was released on the occasion.
Marco Teixiera, South Asia Representative, United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC)-Asia, Amy Ronshausen, International President, World Federation Against Drugs (WFAD), CC Joseph, Director, Fourth Wave Foundation-India, Raja Shanmugam, Advisory Board, Fourth Wave Foundation-India and Shalini George, Catalyst, Fourth Wave Foundation-India also spoke at the session.
The conclave, featuring prominent voices against drug abuse, from India and abroad, is organised by Fourth Wave Foundation (FWF) in partnership with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the World Federation Against Drugs (WFAD).