Following the massive expose in Hyderabad, that over 1,000 students, some of them as young as 13, were using drugs like LSD and MDMA, Telangana's education department conducted a brainstorming session on Thursday.
Addressing mediapersons after the session, state Education Minister Kadiyam Srihari announced that no school student would be allowed to carry a mobile phone into classrooms.
However, he clarified that they could still use their mobile phone outside the classroom, in case of emergencies.
â€śThe government is issuing specific directions to managements of schools and colleges. We also have the responsibility of not triggering panic among parents. Investigating agencies and media must exhibit restraint on this issue," he was quoted as saying.
This development came a day after authorities asked as many as 27 colleges and 26 schools to take steps to check use of drugs by their students.
Advisories were sent to the educational institutions including prestigious international schools and engineering colleges following the sensational finding by the Prohibition and Excise Department.
Enforcement Director Akun Sabharwal told reporters that letters were sent to the heads of educational institutions, which had a sizeable number of users.
Without naming the students addicted to drugs, the letters have asked the principals to keep an eye on erratic/deviant behaviour of the students. They were also advised to monitor the areas around the school as some shops were being used for selling the drugs.
The schools have also been taking steps according to the letters, and are also coordinating with parents, to identify potential drug users.
Mr Narasimha Reddy, Principal of Hyderabad Public School, Ramanthapur, told Deccan Chronicle, â€śTeenagers are curious, which often leads them into many traps. Our school has notified parents not to give children more money than is required. Children do not require a smartphone. Internet is important for academics and therefore a computer can be set up in the hall where parents can monitor what their children are doing.â€ť
The managements of schools and colleges were also asked to counsel the students on the dangers of using drugs.
All accused arrested so far were peddlers and all of them were well educated. People from film industry, hospitality, and MNCs were allegedly involved in the racket.
A meeting with principals/correspondents of almost 80 schools of Hyderabad on July 14, has also been proposed.
A similar meeting with colleges is expected to follow.
The excise department has also set up a toll free number(1800 425 2523) so that citizens/parents/ teachers/students who have any information regarding drugs can pass it on. It promised to keep their identities confidential.