Published: 01st January 2019
Harshbalyam initiative in Kozhikode to tackle substance abuse, trafficking
The project that came into effect in August and is being carried out in 55 schools in Kozhikode city
The District Legal Services Authority (DLSA) and District Child Protection Unit (DCPU) of Kozhikode are gearing up to extend the 'Harshabalyam' child protection programme being implemented in Kozhikode city, and strengthen the activities under the initiative.
The project that came into effect in August this year aims to eradicate substance abuse, child trafficking, cyber attacks, child beggary and to lower drop-out rates. At present, Harshabalyam is being carried out in 55 schools in Kozhikode city. “This will be extended to selected schools across Vadakara and Koyilandy," said DLSA secretary M P Jayaraj. As part of the programme, students who are found to be addicted to drugs and suffering from substance abuse will be identified through ‘Lahari Virudha Balyam’ (Drug Free Childhood) campaign. With the support of the Excise Department, the children will be provided counselling and rehabilitation.
“Over the past few months, we have provided counselling to students from 10 to 12 schools in Kozhikode, " said DCPU officer Joseph Rebello. Training classes for teachers on the ways to identify the problems of students and help them out will also be provided. “ Through a special drive conducted by DLSA, Excise authorities and Child Welfare Committee a couple of months back, we were able to free two to three children forced into child labour. So focus on preventing trafficking and child labour will also be on the agenda for the upcoming months, " said Jayaraj
Meanwhile, the DLSA, with the support of Social Justice Department and Police authorities have formed a monitoring committee to extend the anti-drug activities beyond school level. By involving residents’ association and local self-governing bodies, awareness programme and victim rehabilitation activities will be conducted for the general public and local PTA committees will be created. “ We are also planning to train and deploy a set of volunteers in each panchayat to study and identify the issues related to drug abuse in each region. A special module has also been prepared for the purpose with the help of IMHANS (Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences)" added Jayaraj.