Nitesh R Pradhan
Gangtok, 5 Feb:
A curtain raiser event for the annual meet of Sikkim against Addiction towards Healthy India (SAATHI) was held on Modern Senior Secondary School in the capital today.
The program was attended by Tempo Bhutia, President, SAATHI who informed that three days program starting from 14 will be held at Saramsa Garden in best school award will be conferred to the best performing school.
Dr Satyadeep S Chettri, Board member, SAATHI stated that around 100 schools have collaborated with the organisation with an aim to destigmatize addiction and substance abuse among students.
He stated that impact on students in particular has been tremendous with empowerment, confidence, responsibility given to students impacting parents and community to treat the problem as a disease.
Roshan Pradhan, Teacher coordinator, Deorali Senior Secondary School said that now there is a sea change in the attitude of students which had made this first phase of program a success.
She added that now the efforts are to instill a sense of acceptance, self-motivation to let the substance abusers grow, blossom and relive their life.
It was informed that the three day main event at Saramsa will have the theme of “Building a knowledge future nurturing our youths”.
Various schools will take part in the three day long program which will see expert talks, culture, career counselling, paintings, storytelling session on real life experiences, essay, poster and reading competitions.
On 14th and 15th workshop will be held from 12:30 pm while 16th will see felicitation.
Bishal Darnal, Teacher coordinator, Modern Senior Secondary School stated that a change has been witnessed since SAATHI came into existence as schools and community are talking about it openly without attaching any form of stingma.
He added that such embracing of students by society has helped them develop into strong individual battling the disease of substance abuse valiantly with some emerging victorious.
It was further informed that SAATHI has reached 70000 plus people in Sikkim along with training 167 counsellors, 500 teachers, 4200 peer educators who are students.
They also informed that class 8 and 9 students are particularly vulnerable to try such substances and drugs out of curiosity.
“We thank the Chief Minister Pawan Chamling for all his support along with Member of Parliament PD Rai”, he stated.
K Imbaraj, Joint Director, School Education also addressed the gathering and stated that parents, elected representatives, various departments, schools, NGOs and press has played a vital role in this movement and he appealed for more cooperation in future.
“Youths are being channelized and community is ready to accost them and help them overcome this disease,” he said.