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Is Drug Consumption Rate In The National Capital On A Rise?

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Drugs kill the pain, the joy, the hope, the body, the brain, and finally the soul.

After being the “rape capital” of India, Delhi is all set to be a companion of Punjab in the sphere of drug abuse. A huge population of Delhi is finding solace in drugs. Drugs are often taken for temporary excitement and pleasure, but drug users usually forget that this temporary excitement would have a permanent and harmful effect on their bodies. Residents of Delhi, especially youngsters, are becoming habitual of drug consumption. Drugs are being sold illegally in the city and are mixing in the blood of youth of the city in an enormous amount.

The youth of our national capital is immersed in the habit of drug consumption, leaving behind their career, family and life. In a recent survey by Delhi AIDS Control Society, it has been promulgated that over the past three years, demand for cocaine and heroine has increased in the city. Among these two drugs heroine is more accessible and cheaper as well. In Delhi, 1 gram of heroine costs almost Rs.200-300 whereas cocaine is 15 times more expensive and is popular amongst youngsters. College going youngsters are consuming heroine in great amount.

  • On 3oth December 2017, Narcotics Control Bureau arrested students of top colleges with 1 kg of charas.
  • On 22nd May 2018, four men carrying drugs worth Rs. 3 Crore were arrested in Delhi.
  • June 1st 2018 marked the death of 3 Nigerians who died due to drug overdose.
  • On Aug 14 2018, three men were arrested in Delhi for supplying drugs. They were carrying 3 kg heroine and 1 kg alprazolam.

In January, Delhi and Mumbai were ranked among the world’s top 10 cities with the highest rates of weed consumption. New Delhi was ranked 3 whereas Mumbai was placed on no. 6.

Drug users especially those who smoke Cannabis (weed, pot, grass) put forward various so-called positive effects of consuming weed. Some of them even say that smoking pot is harmless and increases metabolism therefore it should be legalized in the country. On the other hand, doctors have clearly illustrated that marijuana has harmful effects on the brain, it hinders brain development.

Peddling of drugs near universities and colleges has risen, due to which a sudden trend of marijuana consumption is seen in the capital.

There are various harmful effects of drug abuse but psychological and physical effects are more harmful.

We all remember the boy Kamlesh who became a social media sensation after his interview went viral in which he talked about soluchan (solution). Undoubtedly, our country has more than one Kamlesh, teenagers of our country are strongly addicted to drugs.

The biggest problem with drug consumption is that a drug user faces serious health issues while giving up drug addiction. Intake of addictive drugs targets brain due to which a chemical dopamine is released, triggering a feeling of immense pleasure and creates an urge to take that drug again. As a result, various problems occur which include hallucinations, anxiety, depression, wild mood swings, etc.

A survey in 2017 by NDDTC (National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre) revealed that around 70,000 street children in Delhi are addicted to drugs. It was found that these children started consuming opium and heroin at around 13-14 years of age. It was revealed that some of them started taking drugs due to peer pressure while some wanted to see the after-effects of drugs. Some of them started consuming drugs to overcome hunger, cold, poverty and depression.

Drug addiction among youngsters of our country has become a serious issue. Various de-addiction centres have been established but still no solution has been found for this problem. Almost everyday people die due to drug overdose. We must know the value of human life, kids these days find temporary comfort in drugs and ruin their health as well as life. It is high time for the government to take necessary and immediate steps to eradicate the problem of drug addiction.

  • A regular check should be done in colleges and places near them to stop peddling of drugs.
  • Street children should be provided with basic amenities like food, shelter and should be enrolled in schools.
  • Free workshops should be held in different places to help people quit drug addiction.
  • Government should release special forces to stop the smuggling of drugs in the country.

Drug addiction is considered a sickness but it’s a crime as well. Life is a gift, one shouldn’t ruin it by mixing these harmful drugs with one’s blood.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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