Shimla : Parents in Himachal Pradesh will take an 'anti-narcotics' oath at the time of their children's admission to school to ensure that the kids are "not hooked to drugs", a senior official said Tuesday.
This comes just a few days after Director General of Police D.S. Manhas expressed concern over the rising drug menace among students in the state.
"From the next session it would be obligatory for every parent to give an undertaking at the time of admission that his ward is not hooked to any drug or tobacco. Moreover, he would not indulge in trade of narcotics," Director (Elementary Education) Rajeev Sharma told IANS.
"This would morally bind the parents to check the activities of their ward and help sensitise both the parents and students about the ill effects of drugs," he said.
The state has over 15,000 primary and higher secondary government schools with a strength of around 10 lakh students.
Manhas said at a seminar that more than 6,000 acres in the state, especially in Kullu, Mandi and Chamba districts, are estimated to be under poppy cultivation.
Citing the Narcotics Control Bureau surveys, he said the scale of drug peddling from Kullu district was so significant that one youth from every panchayat was lodged in a jail in the country.
Even a Shimla-based NGO Youth Enlightening Society (YES) has painted a grim picture of the rise of drug cases among the youth.
In its latest report, YES said almost every fourth student in Shimla is a drug user.
"Every second boy and every third girl run a high risk of drug addiction as peer influence and easy access to drugs are the most potent risk factors of drug abuse among them," said YES president Aakarshan Chauhan.
The NGO conducted a study on 2,046 students (1,267 boys and 779 girls) in seven government and five private schools.