Dimapur, June 26: Along with the rest of the world, ARK Foundation and the Department of Social Welfare observed the World Drug day at Kohima and Dimapur on June 26. The program was conducted with the objective to spread the message of substance abuse prevention and treatment and also more importantly in the context of Substance abuse in direct relation to Covid 19.
In Kohima, the programme was observed in joint venture with the Prison Authority, District Jail Kohima, keeping in mind and practicing all the advisories such as Social Distancing, use of Masks and other such precautionary measures. The program was chaired by Ketho Angami, President, ARK foundation who opened the program by exhorting his appreciation towards the Social Welfare Department for rendering its support and actively engaging in taking ownership to address the issue of substance use across the state.
C Motsothung Yanthan, Superintendent of Police, Jail delivered the welcome address and lauded the organizers for initiating such a program with the inmates of the Jail, which is beneficial for them in terms of knowledge and prevention from Substance abuse and Covid 19 as well. Renbo,
ARK Foundation, addressed the program on the background scenario of World Drug Day. In his speech, he said that the day is a special occasion for the drug users as well as the policy makers, as it creates awareness and also advocate for a health approach to provide treatment and care for people who are dependent on any form of substance.
He mentioned about the various approach strategy to tackle this social problem by mentioning about Demand reduction, Harm reduction and Supply Reduction. Ketho, spoke on the ill effects of substance use and mentioned that people who are in the habit of substance use are more susceptible to getting the Covid infection due to an underlined health condition. He urged everyone to keep away from the use or abuse of any sort of substance even after being released from the prison.
He stated that there is still no effective vaccine for Covid nor any standard treatment for Covid, and therefore the only best way to stay safe to practice safety measures such as proper and frequent hand washing, wearing mask at all times, and maintaining physical distancing.
He also added that the practice of proper hand washing as per the WHO guidance will not only provide safety against Corona Virus but also help protect the person from other infectious disease caused by Bacteria and Viruses.
K.Wango Langsym, Assistant Director, Social Welfare who is also the Nodal Officer for drug related programs in the state exhorted the gathering by applauding the Team and the Kohima District Jail department for extending their cooperation in joining hands to combat substance Abuse in the District.
He encouraged the prisoners to live a healthy life and think positive about their terms in the Jail by taking it as an opportunity to reform oneself. He further mentioned that people across everywhere commit sins which are “seen and unseen.”
Teisi Thou, Assistant Jailer in his vote of thanks, expressed his appreciation to ARK Foundation for actively and continuing to work for the welfare of Prisoners and for conducting such programs even in the past days. He also lauded the Social Welfare Department for initiating such programs with NGOs with an aim to provide necessary services and information to people who are into substance abuse. He thanked the various speakers and his superiors for joining hands with ARK Foundation and conducting the program successfully.
Following the program, the organizers also distribute some essential commodities and food items like Mask, Soaps, Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Biscuits and juice to all the prisoners.
In Dimapur, ARK Foundation, Social Welfare and Bethesda Youth Welfare Centre also jointly collaborated to observe the day by distributing some mask and food items to drug users in distress, as a result of Covid Crises. It was distributed to drug users who are currently under the OST maintenance treatment for their Opiod dependency and who are undergoing day to day hardships of daily survival and rendered homeless.
A brief orientation on the importance of OST maintenance and continued intake of OST was delivered by the staff of the center. Following this, masks and food items like rice, potatoes and onions were distributed to the clients numbering to 40 drug users approximately, as an immediate relief. (Page News Service)