Not many have had the opportunity to see the real face of growing India. I count myself in one of those fortunate few who could manage this chance. I have seen a part of the visage of growing youth — often called ‘the future of our country’. And believe me, it’s a countenance you would never want to see. It’s a face of India that everyone knows pretty well but chooses to ignore leaving the things the way they are. There are several problems that an average Indian youth faces today ranging from child labour and sexual exploitation to low education standards. But one among them rules them all — DRUGS.
Since the last decade, this country is in jeopardy like it has never been before. I am not talking about an epidemic of disease but about the hurricane of drugs. The drug menace in this country is something which very few people know about. Digest this statistic to know about the gravity of the situation — Today 73.5% of the total youth population of Punjab alone is addicted to drugs, three-quarters of Punjab youth have succumbed to the trap. Let us have a brief look at the picture of what drug taking is in the country. The rich ones afford expensive drugs like heroin, smack, husk and opium while the poor ones tend to go for the cheaper substitutes like Iodex, petrol.
I had one such experience while persuading a boy named Souro at Howrah station while helping Don Bosco Ashalayam, Kolkata in its noble motive to find educate street children. Souro, a boy of eight, picked up garbage for his living. He didn’t want any education as he was more than satisfied in taking Ganja or marijuana and sometimes a whitener (a fluid used as a text erasing liquid) with the meagre Rs 30 that he earned per day out of his job. He was used to waking up in the morning, lifting rubbish and staying hungry just to get that one time high that he could afford with that paltry amount. Shocking but true!
It’s not only the poor and illiterate who are a prey to drugs, but also the educated. Marijuana is one of the principal favourites of the modern day youth. College students have coined a refined term for this practice-‘Weed Culture’. Apart from weed, they consume alcohol too since they can afford to do it. When asked why they opt smoking weeds or drinking even if they know that they are harmful, the answers range from peer pressure, overcoming stress, fear of rejection to the aesthetic highs they get from them.
India needs motivated people to work for this cause. If not taken care of now, this epidemic will continue to increase and take lives of many, may be of our dear ones too. And I am sure none of us would be happy to see our brothers, friends or cousins succumb to it. There is a certain darkness in the tunnel in India right now and the darkness has been growing very fast over the last decade. Will there be light at the end of it? Something tells me Yes!. Indians are known to have recovered from the gravest of circumstances and have bounced back with pride, with valour and with heart. I hope it happens again. Are you against it?
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