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UoP can learn from BMCC to curb drug addiction among students

Brihan Maharashtra College of Commerce began its drive against drugs three years ago, while the varsity’s anti-narcotics drive is just taking off after a push from the NCB, even as UoP acknowledges it doesn’t have necessary data

University of Pune’s student welfare department (SWD) recently forwarded a circular from the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), Delhi, requesting all colleges to run mass anti- narcotics drives on campuses. This project is being enforced to create awareness and to keep a check on drug addiction amongst students.

A step ahead: In its anti-narcotics drives, BMCC showcases various documentaries, encouraging students to keep them away from any kind of addictions. File pic.

However, it seems that UoP is just passing on the directions received from NCB to its affiliated colleges to run the awareness campaigns, as the varsity doesn’t have any data regarding the seriousness of the problem in the city.

“No, we don’t have any data regarding how many college students get affected due to consumption of narcotics. This topic is new for us,” said director of SWD Dr Pandit Shelke. While the university implemented this process on January 7, Brihan Maharashtra College of Commerce (BMCC) has been running similar drives for the past three years with positive feedback from its students.

“We have been conducting such campaigns on a regular basis and have received encouraging inputs from students,” said, Chandrakant Raval, principal of BMCC. “The problem of drug addiction does exist in society. Fortunately, nowadays students are aware about the ill effects, and many a time they themselves prefer to stay away from such groups. Becoming self-aware is a really positive sign,” Raval opined.

To run these drives effectively, BMCC also invites police officials from the Anti- Narcotics Cell to share their experiences. The college also showcases various documentaries, encouraging students to keep them away from any kind of addictions. The circular was sent to the varsity to create awareness and to keep a check on drug addiction amongst students. “The NCB has provided us with a CD of video clips to effectively spread consciousness among college students. We have asked colleges to screen these short films in their institutions along with arranging presentations and expert lectures on the topic,” said Shelke.

The university has recently uploaded the CD on its website, so that the films are easily accessible and viewed by a majority. They plan to organise presentations that explain the ill effects of drug consumption, and how it can be tackled.

“Till now, the SWD has carried out drives like anti-ragging. But, for the first time, with the guidelines of NCB, we have initiated a campaign against consuming narcotic substances,” he said.

Head of principals’ forum in the state Nandkumar Nikam said that along with narcotic substances, colleges should also include alcohol and tobacco in the proposed anti-addiction drives. “Even though drug addiction is largely concentrated in cities, colleges situated on the periphery of Pune district are also at risk. So, consistently conducting such drives is really the need of the hour. However, considering increasing percentage of students getting addicted to alcohol and tobacco, the proposed drive must include these harmful substances as well,” he maintained.

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