GUWAHATI: The State Government has been relentlessly fighting against drugs and child marriage for the past two years. And now, the general public, especially the villagers, have come forward to fight these two social evils.
Student leaders leading them, the villagers of Kalairadiya, under Bagbor LAC (Legislative Assembly Constituency) in the Barpeta district, held a meeting against drugs yesterday. They decided to ostracise the families dealing with drugs and, if need be, not attend the janaja (burial) in the event of anyone dying from such families. A few villages in the Nagaon district have also taken such a decision recently.
Meanwhile, residents of a few villages in Hajo and Tangla took to the streets and held public meetings after the procession against child marriage. They took a pledge not to allow any child marriage in their areas.
According to a source in the Home Department, these are good signs, as the government alone cannot eradicate such menaces without public support. The arrest of drug peddlers is a continuous process in both urban and rural areas, almost every day. In the past two months, the police have seized drugs worth around Rs 2,817 crore. However, drugs keep coming to the state unabated as the number of peddlers has been on the rise, as has the number of addicted youth. According to the data of the LGB Regional Institute of Mental Health, Tezpur, at the opening of the drug addiction centre in June 2021, on average, five drug addicts used to go there for rehabilitation. However, the average number of such addicts going to the centre now is 100. The rise in the number of drug addicts led to a rise in the number of private drug de-addiction centres in the state.
According to a police official, around 50 percent of the criminal cases occurring in the state have links to drugs and drug addicts. To check this menace, family members and society need to come forward.
The police official said that the number of child marriages has drastically decreased after the massive crackdown by the state government. However, the practice continues in some pockets even now. “We can root out the menace if the local populace comes forward with determination,” he said.