Vimukthi Clubs will be formed in all educational institutions in Kerala to bring awareness about the problem of addiction to intoxicants. State excise and local self-governments minister MV Govindan said that these clubs will be formed before the next Gandhi Jayanti day as part of the addiction-free campaign of the excise department and Vimukthi Mission.
Inaugurating a month-long, state-wide addiction-free awareness campaign on the occasion of the 152nd Gandhi Jayanti Day, the Minister said that addiction-free programmes will be organised in over 20,000 wards in local self-governments across the state with public participation. He said that a sustained campaign need to be carried out to create proper awareness against addiction.
"Such a campaign should take the message down to the ward level by enlisting the support of all sections of the society to achieve the goals set out by it. We are living in times when even children fall prey to this evil. This will seriously affect the future generations," the Minister said in a statement.
Addiction to intoxicants has reached such a dangerous level that it has begun to affect the social consciousness and mental health of its victims, said Minister Govindan.
Presiding over the function, Transport Minister Antony Raju said that authorities of educational institutions should take utmost care to ensure that students will not get access to addictive substances. "We should also be alert to efforts by vested interests to sabotage programmes against addiction. This has to be properly factored in while planning and carrying out the addiction-free campaign," Minister Antony said.
Excise Commissioner S Aananthakrishnan said that addiction to intoxicants is one of the grim internal challenges faced by society. The Excise Department and Vimukthi Mission have drawn up a meticulously planned campaign to root out this evil, he added.
Minister Govindan released a CD of short films on the awareness programmes conducted by Vimukthi Mission by handing it over to district panchayat president D Suresh Kumar at the function.
As a prelude to the campaign, a bicycle rally from Kowdiar Square to the inaugural venue was flagged off by VK Prasanth, Member of Legislative Assembly.
Read from archive: Why calls to Kerala govt’s alcohol de-addiction centre have reduced
(With PTI input)