Substance use disorder is an issue which has the potential to adversely affect the social fabric of the country. Dependence to any substance not only affects the individual’s health, but also disrupts their families and the whole society. Regular consumption of various psychoactive substances leads to dependence of the individual.
As per report of ﬁrst comprehensive National Survey on Extent and Pattern of Substance Use in India conducted by Department of Social Justice & Empowerment through National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre (NDDTC), AIIMS, New Delhi, Alcohol is the most common psychoactive substance used by Indians followed by Cannabis and Opioids.
To curb the menace of drug demand, the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MoSJ&E), Government of India has been implementing National Action Plan for Drug Demand Reduction (NAPDDR), an umbrella scheme under which ﬁnancial assistance is provided to State Governments/ Union Territories (UT) Administrations for Preventive Education and Awareness Generation, Capacity Building, Skill development, vocational training and livelihood support of ex-drug addicts etc.
Since 2020, the Ministry is implementing the ambitious Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan (NMBA) in all districts of the country with an aim to create awareness about ill effects of substance abuse among the youth, with special focus on higher education institutes, university campuses, schools and reaching out into the community and garnering community involvement and ownership of the Abhiyaan.
NMBA is playing a crucial role to overcome from this addiction. Till now Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan (NMBA) through the various activities undertaken on-ground 11+ crore people reached out so far. 8,000 Master Volunteers have been selected and trained to lead the Abhiyaan activities in the identiﬁed districts. More than 3.36+ crore youth have actively participated in the activities of the Abhiyaan and spreading on-ground the message against substance abuse. The contribution of 2.24+ Crore women have also been vital in reaching out to a larger community through the Anganwadi & ASHA Workers, ANMs, Mahila Mandals & Women SHGs.
Technology and Social media have been effectively utilized to spread the message of the Abhiyaan online by creating handles on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram and sharing daily updates on them. An Android based mobile Application has been developed to capture the data of activities happening on ground on a real-time basis by the districts and master volunteers. This App has been placed on the Google Play Store. All the de-addiction facilities have been geo-tagged for ease of access by the public.
A special initiative under the NMBA is association of religious/ spiritual organizations for carrying out various activities under NMBA and to spread the message of NMBA under their banner. Taking a step in this direction, Department of Social Justice & Empowerment has signed an MoU with the All World Gayatri Pariwar for spreading the message of NMBA among the youth, women, students and the community. The MoU signing ceremony was held in Dr. Ambedkar International Centre, 15 Janpath, New Delhi on 22nd September, 2023 at 09:00 am in the presence of Dr. Virendra Kumar, HMSJE, Dr. Chinmay Pandya, All World Gayatri Pariwar, Senior oﬃcers of the Department and more than 500 members of All World Gayatri Pariwar.
Minister of Social Justice & Empowerment (HMSJE) talked about the efforts undertaken through the Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan in the country that have helped make this Abhiyaan a mass movement. The Minister informed the gathering about the special events like National Pledge Against Drug Abuse, NCC Interaction with the presence of Raksha Mantri that are regularly conducted to involve stakeholders in the campaign against drug use. Stressing the importance of participation of spiritual organizations in this Abhiyaan, the Minister expressed his faith that this collaboration with the Gayatri Pariwar will go a long way to illuminate the lives of individuals and restrict them from moving towards the path of addiction and help in making a mentally, emotionally and physically strong society.
Dr. Chinmay Pandya, All World Gayatri Praiwar congratulated the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment for launching such a mass campaign against drugs. Through his experiences of working in this area, he stressed on the importance of a conducive familial and social environment that would help prevent as well as overcome substance use. Through the 5000 centers and 16+ Crore people connected with the All World Gayatri Pariwar, Dr. Pandya affirmed the participation in the Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan and contributing towards a Nasha Mukt Bharat.
With the signing of this MoU, Department of Social Justice &Empowerment feels that implementation of NMBA will get a boost towards achieving the objective of drug sensitized India. Shri Saurabh Garg, Secretary for the Department of Social Justice & Empowerment attended and addressed the event.