Vimukthi Mission launches ‘Unarvu’ to wean schoolchildren away from drug abuse :
By Pinkerala News Desk | Oct 25, 2021
Thiruvananthapuram, Oct. 24: In a major initiative to wean schoolchildren away from the growing scourge of alcohol, narcotics, and substance abuse, Vimukthi Mission of the Excise Department in Kerala is launching a project to channelize the energies of students into creative pursuits of arts and sports, besides helping them improve their academic performance.
The project, ‘Unarvu’, will be carried out by the Vimukthi Mission, in association with the Parents and Teachers' Association of the concerned schools, representatives of civic bodies, and residents associations besides traders and businesspeople of the locality.
The move comes as a follow-up to the Governor’s Address to the Kerala Assembly this year that had envisaged the implementation of such a scheme by the Vimukthi Mission founded five years ago.
‘Unarvu’, which means ‘Awakening’, seeks to dissuade children from using drugs, instill confidence and train them in creative pursuits, turn their minds from pernicious habits in a bid to spot and nourish their talents in arts and sports, thus saving their future from being wrecked.
To begin with, the project will select four schools from each of the 14 districts of the state. Excise officials will visit the education institutions, study the drugs-related issues and form a committee that will chart out an action program. Its activities will be carried out under the guidance of a high-powered panel at the Excise Commissionerate which includes sports experts.
The programs formulated by the school-level Unarvu committees will be implemented in cooperation with the Excise Department and Local Self Government institutions.
The centers of Vimukthi Mission will provide counseling and treatment to children suspected to be using drugs. Students will be given training in arts and sports at their schools, keeping in view the pertinent specialties of the local culture.
Realizing the need for sports equipment and playgrounds to insulate students from drugs, ‘Unarvu’ will provide basic infrastructure and training facilities at schools through financial aid from the government besides corporate CSR funds. The program will be implemented in select government schools and aided schools with support from cultural organizations after obtaining permission from local self-government institutions.
Vimukthi Mission is implementing the program on an experimental basis, in four schools in Thiruvananthapuram. These institutions are working on a mission mode to improve their sports infrastructure and training.
Excise officials make themselves available in these schools even during intervals in order to ensure that students do not come in contact with the drug mafia and fall into their trap. The officials will arrange the facility for counseling children suspected to be using drugs. The interventions by the initiative will definitely inculcate discipline among the students.
Vimukthi Mission, whose Governing body is headed by the Chief Minister, Shri Pinarayi Vijayan, had last year conducted a successful state-wide anti-addiction campaign.
Vimukthi Mission, under the aegis of the Excise Department, is working in close tandem with anti-drugs clubs at the school and college levels, National Service Scheme (NSS), Kudumbashree, Student Police Cadets, and similar voluntary organizations besides associations by students, youth, and women towards realizing the dream of making the state free from the menace of drugs and alcohol consumption.
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