Outreach to fight drug addiction in Shillong
The Meghalaya police on Thursday reached out to religious and community leaders in Shillong to sponsor the treatment of at least one poor drug addict each and provide volunteers from their respective localities to help curb the drug menace in the city.
The appeal was made at a two-and-a-half-hour all-faith interaction organised by the East Khasi Hills Police at the Mary Help of Christian Cathedral in Shillong on drug addiction and related social evils. Views were “exchanged freely” on the challenges posed by drug addiction and the need to collaborate with religious and community leaders in fighting the menace in the Meghalaya capital, a leading tourist destination of the Northeast.
A church leader told The Telegraph that Meghalaya DGP L.R. Bishnoi addressed the gathering of over 200 religious and community leaders in a “first-of-its-kind initiative” to strengthen the ongoing fight against drug abuse.
The church leader said: “We were requested to extend our cooperation in the fight against drug abuse and other social evils... to sponsor the treatment of at least one drug addict each from our locality, a move which will not only help the affected families but also create the right kind of awareness about the issue. We welcome the move.”
According to a 2019 report of the Union ministry of social justice and empowerment, there were about 2.5 lakh drug addicts in Meghalaya of which over 40,000 were from Shillong which has over 100 churches.
Meghalaya DGP Bishnoi appealed to the representatives of the church, mosque, gurudwara, Buddhist monastery, temple and other religious institutions to “extend support in rehabilitating at least one drug user” within Shillong, especially from poor families because treatment is often long and not everyone can afford the same.