Powai residents take net help to counter drug menace

Tuesday, 18 February 2014 - 6:00am IST | Agency: DNA

With drug abuse among youngsters reaching dangerous proportions, residents of Powai have formed a Yahoo group with a dedicated email id to counter it. The idea is to post photos of drug peddlers in the area on the net in order to enable everyone to identify them.

They also plan to take up the issue with the Powai police who have, so far, refused to entertain them citing absence of evidence.

Speaking to dna, a resident of Hiranandani Powai said: "In our last meeting with secretaries/chairmen of residential housing societies, there was a discussion on taking police help to counter drug menace. It was then decided to form a Yahoo group where residents, who capture drug peddlers in their camera, would post the photos. We could then approach the police with evidence."

People here decided to take action after seeing an alarming rise in the number of youngsters getting hooked to drugs like cannabis. They are being actively supported by Dr LH Hiranandani Hospital's psychiatry department and the Lakers [Rotary Club], which has launched a programme, Drug Education for Youth (DEFY), to educate parents on the issue.

Dr Harish Shetty, senior psychiatrists, Dr LH Hiranandani Hospital, who is supervising the project said: "The easy availability of drugs needs to be addressed. Reducing supply is absolutely essential to curb its use."

According to psychiatrists and Powai residents, the place has seen an increasing number of boys and girls in the 13-20 age-bracket smoking weed in public.

Mamta Asthana, project coordinator, DEFY said: "25 residential societies here have come together to counter the menace. We are now planning to reach out to more societies. At present we are forming data base and support groups." Emails have been sent to people in these societies to look out for tell-tale signs of addiction in youths. "Red eyes; carrying eye-drops, white cloth, etc in pockets are a few of these signs," he added.

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