IMPHAL, September 18: The Coalition Against Drugs and Alcohol (CADA) celebrated its 9th foundation day today here at Lamyanba Shanglen, Konung Mamang.
The function was attended by Commerce and Industries minister Govindas Konthoujam, CADA president Y Ratankumar, National & International Awardee Ibungosana Ningthemcha as chief guest, president and guest of honour respectively.
Dr Ch Narendra, Reader LMS Law College; Dr N Gyaneshwar Singh, Psychiatrist District Hospital Churachandpur and Dr Homen Thangjam, Assistant Professor MB College spoke as resource persons at the function.
Minister Govindas speaking at the function said that even a common man would say that drug abuse is bad but we need to discuss how bad it can be.
He further said we have heard stories of opium war where not only the existing generation is destroyed but even future generations of the society are affected.
The geographical location of Manipur is such that it is very prone to drug trafficking as three directions of it is open to Myanmar and only one direction is open towards mainland India, he said.
The government has very little knowledge about the various kinds of illegal narcotic drugs being trafficked from these three porous directions bordering Myanmar however the civil society organizations operating in these areas have more information about these activities, he said while maintaining that the situation is very alarming.
There are also very common news reports of packages sent through flight couriers or through the post turning out to be illegal drugs, he added.
Introspecting on why narcotics drugs are being brought into the State, certain questions are raised, he said.
Is it that some people are trying to wipe out our entire race from the surface of the earth or are they simply trying to suppress us using these drugs and bring in new communities, he observed.
By 2017, the railway service would be reaching our land and at the same time, the Trans Asian Highway will be opened by then opening the eastern gates, he said
If we don’t act in time, our future generation might perish, he maintained.
Now is the time for all of us to face these issues and extend help to our civil organisations fighting against drug and alcohol abuse, he observed.
Another very common sight we get to see daily is women both young and old chewing “zarda pan” as soon as they wake up, he said.
This is a serious concern and is very unhealthy for pregnant women, he said, and added what would happen to the inborn children if the going to-be-mothers keep on chewing ‘zarda pan.’
Will we produce only unhealthy children, he asked.
Manipur is considered a sports powerhouse of the country, but are we going to allow drugs and alcohol destroy our rich culture, good sportsmanship and educated youth which we are all proud of?, he continued.
Manipur is a dry State only on paper, the minister continued.
Anyone can get any kind of liquor at a number of hotel, he said.
Different varieties of liquor are also available at the Canteen Supply Division of various security organisations present in the State, he continued.
Brokers buy liquor from these sources and then sell it at various locations around the State, he added.
Sometimes, people from outside visiting the State mock us saying that although Manipur is a dry State on paper, liquor is available everywhere, the minister said.
We need to properly assess how all these is affecting our society mainly the youngsters, he said.
Govindas said some of our communities have rituals which demand them to brew liquor in their homes.
We can make an exception to them, however, this also needs regulation because a family will only need a maximum of half a bottle for the rituals, he said.
At the same time, the government has also received some applications to patent the liquor produce at Sekmai, Andro, he said.