SAATHI holds workshop for Principals to combat substance abuse in schools

Gangtok, 22 Mar:

Sikkim against Addiction towards Healthy India [SAATHI] organised a Principals' workshop at Comfort Inn in Daragaon today for school educators with the aim to elaborate on SAATHI methodologies in preventing substance abuse in schools, as per a press release.

SAATHI president, Tempo Bhutia, briefed on the objective and vision of SAATHI while explaining about the progress it has made in the past two years.

Board member of SAATHI, Dr Satyadeep Chettri, then proceeded by explaining the importance of SAATHI and how the school heads could implement the peer-educator model in their respective schools to combat the menace of drug abuse.

“The substance abuse scenario in Sikkim has seen a rapid increase among students and adults alike. Targeting school students to sensitise them about the effect of drugs in their mental and social well being is important. Prevention should not be forceful else the habit will be back. Instead, helping young adults to understand its implications would help them in making a conscious choice,” said Dr Chettri.

SAATHI coordinator [Modern Senior Secondary School], Bishal Darnal, explained how prevention of drugs is for all age groups. Explaining the model of Iceland, he asserted that parents need to spend quality and quantity time with their children.

Explaining the role of school, he affirmed that students should be taught how to cope and not feel stigmatised by the authorities. Sharing his experiences, he said that the school has taken certain preventive measures like installing cameras in the compound, locking the school gates during class hours, etc. He stated that the pattern of students has changed due to these methods, significantly reducing the cases of drug use.

It was also revealed that children are more money-centric these days and when these demands are not fulfilled, it leads them astray, the release mentions.

The Principals of various schools assured to give their best in combating the issue while simultaneously asking the SAATHI team to visit their Gram Sabha for further community programmes and reach.