drug abuse


After the anti-drug campaign in Ambedkar University, we trace the origins of a similar campaign in the University of Delhi (DU), through the lens of the Leaders For Tomorrow (LFT) organisation.


A couple of days ago, the Social Welfare Department of the government of Delhi launched an anti-drug program, named ‘Khwahishen Udaan Ki’, at Ambedkar University. Having boarded the same train of thought, the colleges of DU, in collaboration with the Leaders For Tomorrow (LFT) – a non-profit youth organization – have carried out campaigns pertaining to drug abuse as well as ragging.

The Anti-Drug and Anti Ragging (ADAR) campaign has been carried out in several DU colleges. With the University welcoming several outstation students every year, it becomes imperative to talk about these issues on an individual level. Problems usually germinate and cultivate themselves through the irrigation of peer pressure, as has been witnessed in most of the cases. The ADAR is specifically oriented towards the freshers and making them aware of the menace that occasionally tends to take a toll on the campus. The necessary measures to be taken and the need to make them feel the presence of a helping hand are some of the other areas which ADAR focuses upon.

While the presence of the LFT is quite evident, it is important to note that it is independent of college societies and holds campaigns in campuses all across the country. Although the menace of ragging has taken a back seat in recent years, considering the legal action taken in the form of the anti-ragging forms collected from students during admissions every year, the problem of drug and substance abuse still persists. Rohit Tomar, a third year B.Com (Programme) student of Aryabhatta College, who is a member of the LFT as well, feels that “[t]he University can keep a check on substance abuse by restricting the sale of drugs to a particular area outside the campus, say 1 kilometre away”.

In Sri Venkateswara College, all the students who registered with ADAR pledged to fight against the looming menace in campus. Jatin Swami, a third year student having pledged for the same, and the former head of LFT in the institution, shares: “Since the programme is centric to the freshers, there is the development of a sense of safety as well as the courage to come up and report cases, which becomes impossible otherwise, due to the communication gap”. He further adds, “The environment of a college is decided by its authorities. Just filling forms never helps”.

There are Anti-Ragging Committees present in most of the colleges with the college authorities having an upper-hand. They are responsible for taking action if the situation demands it.

Being a youth organization, they have an all-encompassing hand that overarches other issues, including a plantation drive (Adopt A Plant-ADAPT), cleanliness drive, collection drive, Visits for Compassion and other red-letter day events, all pertaining to particular social issues, in order to make the youth aware of the menace in our society, and how to tackle it. Their efforts prove that after all, as Mahatma Gandhi once said, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world”.


Feature Image Credit: The Millenium Post


Shrija Ganguly

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“Teach the youth well about the way they should go; even when they are old, they won’t depart from it.”

Believing in the power of youth, students from Ramjas College working with Project Bawarchi held a campaign against Drug Abuse – “Choose to Refuse” on 17th April 2017, in Sewa Kutir Complex, Mukherjee Nagar, New Delhi.

Project Bawarchi works with rehabilitated victims of drug abuse to instill life skills in them and assist in their reintegration to the society by making them independent entrepreneurs. The Project has taken the initiative to bring awareness and educate victims about the menace of drug abuse in society.

The event invited panelists from different walks that work towards eradicating the menace of drug abuse. Swapnil Tewari, the CEO of Livemad and the youngest social entrepreneur to be featured in Forbes magazine was invited to help bring better ideas about the reintegration of the community members back into the society. Dr. Ravindra Nath, a public health expert helped us know about the existing treatments and myths about drug abuse, with his expertise coming from a medical background. Ms. Aparna Khanna and Ms. Mridula Seth, professors from Lady Irwin College, were a part of the event to help us understand the psychological reform of drug abuse. Mr. Subhash Gautam, Superintendent, Deptt. of Women and Child Development was also present to help us gauge a view from the government’s perspective.

Rightly said by Robert Frost, “Drugs take you to the hell, disguised as heaven.”

The community members working under Project Bawarchi explained the harsh stories about the dark past and how they have been scarred for life because of one evil substance. The discussions between the college students and panelists were done in the presence of the community members to help the youth understand the myths related to the use of drugs, the life after drugs, and the severe downfall that drugs result into.

Drugs don’t help us skip the issues, they only let us escape the reality that furthermore spoils the past, the present and definitely the future.

The members of Project Bawarchi kept a panel discussion on some topics that intrigued the minds of the college youth about the details of topic. The major question that was discussed was ‘Why the first time and what follows next?’

In the event, they also discussed the treatment of rehabilitation, especially the reality and the myths associated with it. The community members were involved in the discussion to hear directly from the experts, and to understand their life after rehab. As a conclusion, we realised this is an essentially contested concept and hence, every stakeholder holds a different view working towards the same aim.

Towards the end of the event, Mr. Shibendu rightly ended it for all saying it’s not the time to lose hope and even if you have fallen into the maze, there’s still a second chance everyday. The first step towards coming out is when you decide that you’re done with all the uncertainty of drugs and you’re not going to stay where you are.

Project Bawarchi is planning to launch a full-fledged campaign from the new academic session while establishing the credibility of the campaign in due course and mobilising people from different walks who are working in this field. This would help bring a difference in terms of the demand reduction of drugs in the first place. The organisation need more youngsters indulging in such works that focus on the transformation of the society on the ground level and not only on paper.

CHOOSE TO REFUSE – Let the change begin.

Image credits: Project Bawarchi

Content by Project Bawarchi