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Meghalaya to hold consultative meet on combating substance abuse

Meghalaya to hold consultative meet on combating substance abuse

The State Social Welfare Department, along with the Home Department and East Khasi Hills District Administration, will hold a consultative meeting with local institutions on June 7 in Shillong. The meeting aims to strengthen efforts to combat substance abuse under the DREAM initiative.

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Meghalaya to hold consultative meet on combating substance abuse Meghalaya to hold consultative meet on combating substance abuse

State Social Welfare Department, in collaboration with the Home (Police) Department and the East Khasi Hills District Administration, will be holding a crucial Consultative Meeting of MLAs, MDCs, and Dorbar Shnongs (Traditional Institutions) of the Greater Shillong Area on June 7.

The meeting, scheduled at 2 pm at the State Convention Centre in Shillong, is part of the Drug Reduction Elimination & Action Mission (DREAM) launched in June 2023. DREAM aims to build a "Drug Free Meghalaya" through a coordinated strategy that leverages the combined efforts of the state and local communities.

Social Welfare Minister Paul Lyngdoh has appealed to the Dorbar Shnongs of the Greater Shillong area to attend this crucial meeting, emphasizing the importance of their participation and support in the collective effort to combat substance abuse.

The consultative meeting seeks to identify gaps in the current system by partnering with communities, such as the Village Defence Parties (VDPs). As per the Meghalaya Village Defence Organisation Rules 2008, VDPs assist the police in maintaining law and order, conducting patrols, and preventing crimes, including drug-related offenses.

DREAM has identified the need to build a robust and well-trained network of VDPs equipped with necessary resources and tools to combat drug abuse and trafficking. The plan is to revamp and reorganise the VDPs across the state, with a particular focus on identified drug and substance use hotspots, including Shillong.

Empowering VDPs with these capabilities is aimed at creating a vigilant and proactive community defense mechanism that not only maintains law and order but also actively contributes to a Drug Free Meghalaya. This initiative will involve comprehensive training on drug detection and prevention, ensuring regular coordination with police and existing health service nodal persons, and fostering strong community engagement through Social & Behavioural Change Campaigns and awareness programmes.

The meeting on June 7 will be attended by Social Welfare Minister Paul Lyngdoh, Principal Secretary & Development Commissioner Sampath Kumar, IAS, Secretary Israel W. Ingty, IAS, Special Superintendent of Police (CID)-Shillong Vivek Syiem, IPS, Madanryting Village Defence Parties, along with other MLAs, MDCs, and the Dorbar Shnongs of the Greater Shillong area.

As Meghalaya's success rate in combating the drug menace has risen to 20 percent, largely due to support from traditional institutions and NGOs, this consultative meeting aims to further strengthen the state's efforts in creating a safer and drug-free environment.

Edited By: Aparmita
Published On: Jun 06, 2024