Civil Society must ensure suitable environment for people with mental health or drug addiction issues: Tulshi D Rai
Gangtok Times Report
Ranipool, Feb 16
Over 3000 students and 100 principals from 100 different schools, and about 200 other guests attended the second day of Sikkim Against Addiction Towards Healthy India (SAATHI) Annual Meet being held in Saramsa garden from Feb 15.
Minister of Social Justice Empowerment & Welfare Department, Tulshi Devi Rai graced the second day event as the chief guest.
The event was also attended by representatives of Human Resource Development Department, Department of Health Care, Human Services and Family Welfare, Social Justice Empowerment and Welfare Department and the Sikkim Police.
The chief guest Tulshi Devi Rai welcomed the SAATHI initiative as a highly impactful program which has brought about lasting changes in societal mindsets in Sikkim. She spoke about the importance of seeking help for mental health issues like depression, anxiety, etc. She added that, “Drug addiction is both a cause and consequence of mental health issues and it is important to seek help. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the society to ensure that a suitable environment is created where people with mental health or drug addiction issues can come forward and seek help.”
Therewere various activities organized for the students including stalls for career guidance, organic farming, reading corner (library) and health camps.
Other activities like painting competition, story-telling competition, essay competition and poster competition were organized. Life skills session on meditation was also organized. Various stalls have but put up by the schools showcasing various crafts, food items, and innovative inventions by the school children themselves. There is also a photobooth and games section for the school students. The children have also been independently engaging in activities like making SAATHI songs about substance abuse.
SAATHI has achieved its target of reaching 100 schools and training 500 teachers. It has also exceeded its target of training 4000 peer educators. SAATHI has made a lot of progress in its outreach to parents and the community in general. It has reached 24252 local communities. It is the first peer educator-based initiative in India working towards eradication of substance abuse among school children.