SAATHI extends battle against addiction to colleges

Gangtok, 07 Mar:

Sikkim Against Addiction Towards Healthy India [SAATHI], a project under the Chief Minister’s Youth Empowerment and Self Reliant Mission, organized an awareness program at Sikkim Government College, Burtuk, today. The program had the participation of 149 students.

The program started with a welcome address by SAATHI president, Tempo Bhutia, highlighting how SAATHI was started, its aims and objective.

Thereafter, the principal of Sikkim Govt. College [Burtuk], Dr S Dutta, welcomed team SAATHI for extending the initiative to colleges after remarkable success at the school level.

Addressing the students, she said, “We are all full of problems but taking substances is not a solution or to take our life as life is too precious to lose. One should go out and spread this message and stop this menace of addiction”.

HOD of Psychiatry, STNM Hospital, Dr CS Sharma, explained the medical aspects of addiction. He invited the students to “say no to drugs” by being “bold, militant, and not running away.”

“The peddlers are enjoying at your cost, be bold to stop this fast growing addiction disease in Sikkim,” he said.

The program was taken forward by SAATHI peer educators from Govt. Girls Senior Secondary School, Deorali, with a skit based on how a child chooses the path of addiction because of the parent who don’t give time to their child, and because of peer pressure.

Udai Rai of Serenity Home briefed the participants about cases related to substance abuse with the case studies from the past 17 years.

He added, “The ultimate effect of substance addiction is it hijacks the reward system of the brain after damaging the organs of the body and also all the creativity and will power that is in you”.

He said, “Addiction is a symptom, let us address this symptom to the society and cure this disease”.

He added, “Develop the skill of saying no to drugs. There are three ways to solve this problem of substance addiction - first, keep yourself safe from this addiction, second, support and provide help to the people in need of professional help and finally, tackle the problem collectively.

The program ended with a vote of thanks by Assistant Program Manager, Himanjali Pradhan, SAATHI.