Police official leads anti-drug campaign in Punjab village

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Behman Diwana, Bathinda, Nov 5 (UNI) A senior police official, besides fighting the crime, is waging a battle against poppy addiction in this small hamlet, which has produced national and state-level sportsmen.

Due to the high incidence of poppy addiction, the village is now known as 'amlia da pind' (village of drug addicts).

''What I saw was shocking, an entire young population of the village was being destroyed,'' recalls Bathinda Range DIG Jatinder Jain who took it upon himself to free the village youth of the clutches of the intoxicant.

Dr Jain, a PhD in police administration did not use the stick on the addicts. Rather he went about holding meetings with them and explaining the ill effects of durgs, particularly poppy husk, which came in from Rajasthan.

''My first task was to plug the poppy husk smuggling routes to the village and then to set up a de-addiction center with the help of doctors'', he said. '' Tackling drug addiction is an IDEA-- intiative of all, deaddiction, enforcement to check avaliability and awareness,'' he said.

Some of the famous sportsmen who donned national colours from this village were late Gurmail Sungh Matta (basketball), Labh Singh, Pritpal Singh and Lachmann Singh, all of whom were handball players.

Sports form a very important part of Dr Jain's de-addiction campaign in the village.

Narrating some shocking details of the village, Dr Jain said that there was an addict who had been consuming poppy husk for the last 30 years and currently he was consuming half a kg daily. Another had been taking the poppy husk for the last 20 years and he was consuming 250 gm daily.

It was through Dr Jain's persuasion and motivation that both these addicts quit poppy husk and have now become baptised Sikhs.'' Religion and spiriruality play a very important role in keeping addicts away from drugs,'' he added.

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