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When women in a Kerala village joined hands to positively influence youth

Residents of Nanniyode village at a football camp organised for youth. Image Credit: Special Arrangement.

Once a hot spot of drug abusers, this small village in Kerala has now shown the world how to positively influence youth and successfully prevent them from falling into the trap of drug abuse . Thanks to the active participation of women, Nanniyode village in Thiruvananthapuram has been successfully running an anti-drug project “Rise-Up” in coordination with Kudumbashree and enforcement agencies. The project has in fact helped addicts to return to normal life.

“It has been a coordinated effort of police, health department, excise, Kudumbashree, panchayat, and NGOs that resulted in the successful eradication of drug abuse from the village,” Nanniyode Grama Panchayat President Shylaja Rajeevan told “Open Digest

It all began with a survey by the Gender Resource Centre under Kudumbashree in 2022 to understand the impact of drug abuse in the village following a rise in the number of young drug addicts. “Most teenagers who were addicted to drugs were between the ages of 15 and 18. The situation was alarming after families realized their wards were stealing money to buy drugs. After implementing the project, we have been able to totally free the village from the clutches of drug abuse,” Shylaja said.

Volunteers of Rise Up project conducting door to door campaign

Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) M R Ajith Kumar said the police have been coordinating with the panchayat and other departments concerned to ensure that the village remained free of any drug activities. “We have upped the surveillance in the village. All necessary measures are being taken to ensure that the village remained drug-free following successful implementation of the project,” he said.

“After conducting the first round of intervention, we could identify six youngsters who were into drug addiction and properly rehabilitate them. The project will be continued in the village,” said a resource officer of the project.

As part of the project, special teams conducted a survey of 900 houses in the village interacting with family members and collecting necessary inputs to identify drug users and addicts. Following the survey, special door-to-door campaigns were conducted to help people identify drug abusers and the steps to follow to get them out of addiction.

 “The project also ensured sustained treatment, psychological counselling, care, and support to the addicts. Several programs like football coaching have been introduced for the youngsters,” said the resource officer.

(This article is part of the anti-drug campaign #ChooseLife in association with Infopark, Kochi and Kerala Police.)

One Comment

  1. Anonymous March 4, 2024

    need of the hour Dr Narahari Kasaragod

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