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Monday, September 27, 2021

MISSION RED SKY With new jobs, drug-dependent youths of Hoshiarpur look to start new chapter in life

‘Mission Red Sky’, launched by the state government in March this year, 181 drug abuse victims have been rehabilitated, Hoshiarpur District Employment Officer Gurmail Singh said.

Written by Anju Agnihotri Chaba | Jalandhar |
August 19, 2021 8:28:19 am
Drug abuse victims during a counselling session at an Out Patient Opioid Assisted centre. (Rxpress photo)

AMRIK SINGH (name changed), in his late 20s, had spent several years in Saudi Arabia where he worked as a driver and earned a handsome amount before he returned to his village in Hoshiarpur district.

He soon fell prey to drugs and ran out of money. Disowned by family and friends, he turned to a Out Patient Opioid Assisted (OOAT) centre to break the habit. After spending time in rehab for moths, he has now landed a job with help of the district administration and is looking to start a new chapter in his life.

As part of its ‘Mission Red Sky’, launched by the state government in March this year, 181 drug abuse victims have been rehabilitated, Hoshiarpur District Employment Officer Gurmail Singh said.

Another youth from Sherpur Pakka village of Hoshiarpur district too started taking drugs just for the sake of having it for enjoyment but after a few weeks he realised that he had become addicted. He too got the treated from OOAT centre and then got a job at a general store and earned his living.

“I have not only come out of this trap but am also earning well to live a respectable life now,” he said, adding that I appeal to the youngsters to never touch drugs even for the sake of trying it once.
Sandeep Kumar (not real name), another drug-dependent youth, has the similar story to tell as he now works under the ‘Mr Clean’ project of Hoshiarpur district.

‘Mr Clean’ project is a project under which Hoshiarpur district has provided training to the youth, including drug abuse victims, to wash and clean cars. They have been provided kits for cleaning and now these youth get employment across the district where they are getting the regular car washing work.

The rehabilitation is being done under ‘Mission Red Sky’, which aims at helping the drug-dependent youths to lead a normal life by providing them job opportunities through skill development and training programmes of the Punjab government.

In Hoshiarpur, 17 OOAT centres, 2 drug de-addiction centres and one rehabilitation centre is being run.
“Under Mission Red Sky of the Punjab government we had deputed 50 officials of various departments to connect with the drug dependent youths and these officials visited all the OOAT centres of the districts where such youth were taking treatment and after counselling them 181 youth have been rehabilitated by providing jobs under Punjab government’s ‘Ghar Ghar Rozgar’ scheme in the districts,” said Deputy Commissioner, Hoshiarpur, Apneet Riyait, adding that in Hoshiarpur under this mission they are identifying the unemployed youth at the OOAT centres and enrolling them at our District Employment Office and with the District Bureau of Employment and Enterprises (DBEE) centres to provide jobs.
Aditya Rana and Mangesh Sood, career counsellors in DBEE, said that to instil self-confidence among these victims they are meeting them repeatedly and motivating and then providing them employment and self-employment both.

“These youth need our support not sympathy to lead a respectable life and it can create,” said Rana.

Ludhiana, 107 get jobs
Ludhiana district administration on Wednesday organised a job fair in the office of district employment exchange for the youths undergoing treatment at local OOAT centres under Mission
Red Sky. Around 142 youths participated in the fair out of which 107 were selected by nine companies.

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