The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has reached over 44 lakh youth in 272 most vulnerable districts through its Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan (NMBA). The campaign is being run with about 8,000 youth volunteers. The ministry is also maintaining 364 Integrated Rehabilitation Centres for Addicts (IRCAs) for treating the drug victims and providing services of preventive education, awareness, counselling, detoxification/de-addiction, after-care and re-integration into the social mainstream. In a written reply in Lok Sabha during the ongoing Winter Session, Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Dr Virendra Kumar listed all the key measures taken by the ministry to arrest the problem of substance abuse among the youth.
The Government has been maintaining 54 Community-based Peer-led Intervention (CPLI) Centres with a focus on vulnerable and at-risk children and adolescents. Under this, peer educators engage children for awareness generation and life skill activities. The department has set up and maintained 87 Outreach and Drop-In Centres (ODICs) to provide safe and secure space for substance users, with the provision of screening, assessment and counselling and thereafter provide referral and linkage to treatment and rehabilitation services for substance dependence.
The major focus of NMBA has been on youth and higher educational institutions. Special emphasis has been laid on the participation of stakeholders such as women, children, educational institutions and civil society organisations, who may be directly or indirectly affected by substance use. The activities undertaken on-ground has so far reached out to over 1.27 crore people. The contribution of more than 29.5 lakh women has been vital in reaching out to a larger community through the Anganwadi and ASHA Workers, ANMs, Mahila Mandals and women SHGs, acknowledged Dr Virendra Kumar. The other drivers of the campaign are students, social media, an Android-based mobile app (on PlayStore), and a short film. The ministry plans to declare 100 districts as Drug Sensitised Districts by August 2022.