Kerala to launch project to keep school children off drugs

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In a major initiative to wean school children away from the growing scourge of alcohol, narcotics, and substance abuse, Vimukthi Mission of the Excise Department in Kerala is all set to launch a project to channelize the energies of students into creative pursuits of arts and sports, besides helping them improve their academic performance.

The project, ‘Unarvu’, which means ‘Awakening’, will be carried out by the Vimukthi Mission, in association with the Parents and Teachers’ Association of the concerned schools, representatives of civic bodies, and residents associations besides traders of the locality.

‘Unarvu,’ seeks to dissuade children from using drugs, instill confidence and train them in creative pursuits, turn their minds from pernicious habits in a bid to spot and nourish their talents in arts and sports, thus saving their future from being wrecked, the state government said in a release. The move comes as a follow-up to the Governor’s Address to the Kerala Assembly this year that had envisaged the implementation of such a scheme by the Vimukthi Mission founded five years ago.

“To begin with, the project will select four schools from each of the 14 districts of the state. Excise officials will visit the education institutions, study the drugs-related issues and form a committee that will chart out an action programme. Its activities will be carried out under the guidance of a high-powered panel at the Excise Commissionerate which includes sports experts,” the release said.