SAATHI workshop for SMCs in Singtam

Gangtok, 27 Mar;

Sikkim Against Addiction Towards Healthy India [SAATHI] conducted a workshop on the multiple aspects of substance abuse and its solutions for School Managing Committees of various schools at Singtam in East Sikkim today.

Deputy Director, Human Resource Development Department, AK Bhandari, attended the programme as chief guest along with 40 teacher coordinators and SMC members, a press release informs.

Principal of Government Senior Secondary School, Singtam, KB Chettri, who was one of the resource persons for the programme, spoke about how habit is formed due to experimentation and leads to dependency. He expressed hope for the members to understand that the SMC members have a larger role to play because of how they can influence the society to take up the matter of drug abuse as a disease to be treated.

“By bridging the gap between parents and children, by creating more parent teacher associations which focuses on listening to the grievances of children and tries to understand the adolescent behavior, a lot of substance use can be prevented. The tell-tale signs of drug use could be apparent and yet may go unnoticed if we are not on constant vigilance,” said Mr Chettri.

Chief guest Mr Bhandari, in his address, elaborated on the importance of school curriculum to encourage communication between teachers and students so as to build a trusting relationship.

Psychiatrist, Singtam Hospital, Dr Satish Rasaily, asserted that the root cause of substance abuse is peer pressure and the ultimate matter of how these cases are handled rests in the hands of the society and family.

“Since different people have different ways of using, they cannot undergo the same treatment. Rehabs are not for occasional users likewise reprimand cannot work for habitual users. Community has a huge role in understanding how to make sure that users and dependents are not stigmatized but helped,” added Dr Rasaily.

School Management Committee member, Rangpo Mining School, Nagendra Sharma, focused on the importance of moral values to be inculcated in school curriculum.

“Moral value system could help children master the art of discrimination and hence help towards making the right choices,” said Mr Sharma.

SAATHI teacher coordinators from Melli SSS, Tashi Lhamu and Deepa Rai, stated that their schools had multiple cases pertaining to use of tobacco products, cannabis, gutka, etc. They further informed that after intervention through SAATHI, they realized that helping young minds find goals and purpose truly propels them to channelize their energies in progressive activities.