On the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, Chandigarh-based Joshi Foundation held a round-table conference at ICSSR, Panjab University, to focus on solutions to eradicate the drug addiction issue. With the dictum ‘physical activity is believed to be an antidote to drugs’, Joshi foundation had invited ideas from bureaucrats, police officers and young sports champions for the promotion of sports culture to divert young minds from negative activities.
“Few of the suggestions that we received during the discussion today include, making zero period as sports period in schools. Saturday must be sports day. Moreover, physical literacy, sports nurseries and utilization of school playgrounds after school hours must be made mandatory. We shall take these ideas and suggestions to the Punjab Governor for his consideration. We have taken a pledge to completely weed out this menace from our society,” said Saurabh Joshi, president of the Joshi Foundation.
Speaking at the conference, IPS officer Niharika Bhatt said, “An official data revealed that 80 per cent of crime in Chandigarh has drug-addiction as its root-cause. An addict creates problems for everyone. When everything is lost, such addicts are forced into crimes like chain-snatching, robbery, rape and murder. Chandigarh, being the capital of the two states. remains highlighted. This is a major problem. I believe in re-orientation of the mind of the youth.”
While speaking on the drug menace, Surinder Mahajan, Secretary, Chandigarh Badminton Association said, ‘We need to work on ourselves to become an example for the youth. Ignorance is not a solution. Whatever I do, it is going to impact the children in my surrounding. I request all the coaches to ensure that they make their children and players work hard on the ground, so when they reach home, there is no time for self destructive ideas.”
A member of Alcoholics Anonymous, Naveent Gotra, shared his life-experience about the initial stages of his alcohol addiction to losing everything to it.
“A strong will, can change you. But no one can do it alone. It is a group work, where each strata of the society plays a crucial role,” he said.
The 18-year old Under-19 National Chess Champion, Tarini Goyal, asked sports associations to contribute actively and said, “They need to organise more tournaments. There should be an attractive incentive for the participants, so the youth are motivated.” Body builder, Hardeep Singh Malhi said, “Dope test should be made compulsory at each level. Awareness and natural diet is required at present.”
Some of the other attendees of the conference included Chandigarh SP Sarvesh Kaushal and sports champion Aryan Pal.
Former media advisor to the Punjab government and chairman of the Joshi foundation, Vineet Joshi, said that the foundation has been working on the drug addiction issue for the past six years. “In 2015, we held our first round table meeting on ‘parivar, samaj and sarkar’. This year, we have gathered people to construct a plan for the implementation of sports and physical activities as an antidote to drug,” he said.