MP P.D. Rai for taking SAATHI program in grassroots level
Gangtok Times Report
Gangtok, Feb 15
Sikkim against Addiction towards Healthy India (SAATHI) has kicked off their Annual Meet 2019 today at Saramsa Garden. The Annual Meet is to be a grand event of learning and sharing to be held from 15th – 17th February 2019.
SAATHI is an initiative under the Chief Minister’s Youth Empowerment and Self-reliant Mission. After a successful pilot in two schools, SAATHI officially took off in 2016 by adopting 30 schools under its programme to eradicate substance abuse. The organization is dedicated towards the development of positive attitude amongst school going students who are the most vulnerable group when we think about drug or any other kind of addiction. Channelizing their energy in a proper way by building their capacity through various sessions and activities to prevent experiment of substance by children is one of the primary objectives of SAATHI. The main goal of SAATHI is to build a healthy ecosystem for the society.
The Chief Guest of the day was MP Lok Sabha, P.D. Rai and the Special Guest was Gyan Upadhya, Principal Secretary cum Additional Chief Secretary, Human Resource Development Department, Government of Sikkim.
In his address, Gyan Upadhyay talked about the positive impact that SAATHI has had on the society. He spoke about the need to embed the SAATHI curriculum in every school in Sikkim supported by the Government of Sikkim.
P.D. Rai talked about the positive role that the SAATHI program has had in changing the mindset of the children and society. Further, he added the necessity of continuing and expanding the SAATHI program in the future to encourage greater participation from the society.
SAATHI shall approach every community member of the locality such as Panchayats, Self-Help Groups, local clubs, health workers, NGOs, etc. to reduce substance abuse in the society. School authorities will be empowered to ensure that young people know how to access help and advice in the community when it’s needed. In 2018, SAATHI has achieved its target of reaching 100 schools and training 500 teachers. It has also exceeded its target of training 4000 peer educators.
Though there is still some way to go in training and placing teachers and in student impact, SAATHI has made a lot of progress in its outreach to parents and the community in general. It has reached 24252 local communities.
The major impact that SAATHI has bought is that it has changed the mindset of the people and created a society that has moved away from a hostile environment to a healthy environment.
The 3-day Annual Meet is completely Zero Waste, pledging to leave the venue cleaner than before. Carrying plastic items like bottles, bags, etc. have been completely banned from the three-day event. Students were encouraged to bring their own mugs, plates and spoons, preventing the disposal of more than 10,000 plastic bottles and 20,000 paper cups from being disposed at the landfill. There are various stalls and 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, poster competition and various cultural programs were also organized.
The event was attended by 2000 students and 100 principals from 100 different schools, and about 200 other guests.