Itagar, March 21: In connection to the widespread opium addiction and its popular cultivation, Lohit Deputy Commissioner Dr B M Mishra conducted a meeting with the PRI members, Gaon Burahs, and other village level, Control, Awareness, Monitoring and Enforcement (CAME) team of the block and sub-divisiol team today. An open and collective discussion was brought out by the DC by inviting the participants to put forward their views on the positive and negative effects of opium in the society. All sections of society expressed their concern over the increasing popularity of opium especially among the youngsters who were now becoming the major chunk of addicts, informed an official press release.
Understanding the traditiol medicil use and religious use of the opium during rituals and also the state of mind of the people of the district where any abrupt use of force could result in huge opposition, he said that he has worked out systematic arrangements where the people would be benefitted and also rehabilitated when they stop the cultivation.
Mishra expressed his major concern for the young generations and said that awareness programme is being conducted at every village to give proper education and knowledge with the help of various departments and organizations.
Opium is cultivated in Lohit District primarily because it makes easy money and it only takes three months to cultivate and sell the product resulting into huge amount of profit.
But this practice of easy money is slowly and gradually hampering the Mishmi community of the district with a major portion of population being addicted to opium resulting in huge economic and societal loss. Opium is now a household problem and a social mece. Several meetings, executive orders are carried to stop the cultivation, destroy the crops and to stop its consumption in any form but there has been very little success till date. Therefore to check the growing mece, a vertical chain of teams for CAME against opium mece in the district was constituted earlier by the DC in November last year.
All the circle level team consists of 7-8 members with the concerned EAC attached to each team as head and on the same line the village level teams was constituted for the village under Lohit district and each village level team is headed by assistant teacher or medical officer and 65 numbers of CAME teams have been constituted accordingly in and around the Tezu township and its surroundings. SP Ved Prakash Surya, speaking against opium discouraged its cultivation to support one’s family.
He encouraged all the anti opium villagers and groups to come together and organize awareness programmes under their capacities. PRI members and Gaon Burahs collectively requested the DC to organize awareness programmes regularly while all proposed that the programmes should be organized during the peak season of Opium cultivation, the release added.