The Punjab Government will soon launch a joint venture with the Art of Living Foundation — a non-Government organisation — for helping the Punjabis to get rid of drug addiction in the State.
With the debate over gravity of drug menace in Punjab gaining momentum, the state government will launch a programme with the Foundation in Amritsar on the pilot basis, and make an attempt to take out the Punjabis from the clutches of the deadly drug menace.
Under the programme, 11 teams will cover the nine constituencies of Amritsar parliamentary segment by going house to house, and doing door to door survey of the entire area.
“The programme will be launched in Amritsar as a pilot project between November 15 and 20 under which nine constituencies will be covered by 11 teams of the Art of Living Foundation. The programme is expected to go for around four to six months during which house to house survey will be conducted,” said Chief Parliamentary Secretary for Health, Navjot Kaur Sidhu.
She added, “All the houses in the area will be thoroughly covered and the families will be asked if there are any drug addicts and they want to get rid of it.”
Sidhu informed that the Foundation has courses and programmes for drug rehabilitation, which are running across 157 nations. “These courses will be absolutely free. And under this, the various activities like yoga, pranayam, various kriyas, satsang will be done and psychiatrists will also be there for any kind of counseling,” said she.
The teams will train the medical officers, and the leaders will also be appointed among the participants who are active in learning to run the programme at later stages.
She maintained that the programme will not only be carried out with the assistance of health department but also the Police department which will work in tandem with us. “We will also visit the sensitive areas like that of Maqboolpura where drug problem is very serious. For such areas, police will be with us. As 11 teams are coming for nine constituencies, the extra ones will focus on such sensitive areas,” said Sidhu.
Maqboolpura village in Amritsar is known for drug addicts, deaths related to drugs, widows and orphans of drug addicts and poverty caused by most employable males getting hooked to drugs — indicating the severity of the drug menace. It is also known as a village with no men — which is also true to some extent.
“If they are taking drugs, we will provide them with sterlised needles to save them from HIV or Hepatitis, we will also provide them medicines that are alternative to the drugs and then those medicines will also be available with the Medical Officers and educate the addicts to take that, free of cost, instead of drugs,” she said, adding that the funding of this programme would come from the funds by the MNCs, or from her or her MP husband Navjot Singh Sidhu.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the founder of the Art of Living, is also expected to be the part of the programme and may visit the state at the concluding ceremony. “He has given clear instructions that the teams will not come back till all the houses are covered,” she said adding that she would ensure that he visit the state for the programme.
Source: Daily Pioneer