Source: The Hitavada      Date: 07 Jul 2017 11:07:49

THAT students of as many as 27 colleges and 26 schools in Hyderabad consume high end drugs like LSD and MDMA, is something very disconcerting as well as utterly shameful. Some people may contest the findings of an official probe, but they must take notice of another reality that the Government has issued advisory to schools and colleges to take steps to curb the menace. This clearly means that the problem is far more serious than some may suspect, which has prompted the Government to issue the word of caution and care. 

Hyderabad, however, can be treated only as a token of the malaise that is spreading like cancer among Indian youth, not just in megapolises but elsewhere as well. Similar findings emerged from studies in several other places across the country, making it imperative for the Indian society to look at the problem in full seriousness and take appropriate steps to save our young generation from the rot. This is, thus, a national issue and not something restricted to one city.

In fact, in the past several years, this issue of addiction among youths has come to fore in national discourse. Unfortunately, beyond lip service, not much has been done by way of combating the menace. Much to the contrary, it has been found by many that the larger Indian society has yet not started paying appropriate attention to the social challenge of drug addiction in youths in particular and others in general.

As is commonly known, a shockingly high percentage of our youths are falling prey to various temptations including drugs and alcohol and tobacco and even gambling in order to get some quick and cheap money. Shocking numbers of youths also give an impression that they are living a rather reckless life with no restraint and no discipline. Their overall habits and overall physical personalities betray a sense of carelessness about their fundamental duty as students and youths. They give an impression that there is no system of checks and balances in a large percentage of Indian homes as well as institutions. It appears, Indian society and its institutions are yet to wake up to this ugly reality of addiction among youths.

Where do we go from here? How do we tackle the menace? And harsher still, do we really feel that addictions in youths is a problem at all? This last question comes up in the context of the overall societal apathy towards this issue.
Despite the fact that so many countless youths are falling prey to addiction of various sorts, including high-end drugs, the general awareness about the issue is only minimal. Add to this lack of awareness the vice being promoted almost on television and digital media through undesirable websites etc, and the dirty picture gets even dirtier. The number of agents of vice has been on the increase and an ugly commerce has come up at all places in the country, alluring youngsters whose ability to think rationally is limited. Besides, the familial control system, too, is getting restricted and ineffective. As a result of all these, the youths in shocking numbers are turning towards vices of various kinds, which the Hyderabad situation seems to indicate.

The battle has not been lost at all. In fact, it has just begun, so to say. We can still fight back effectively and help our young generations to restore strength to shun vice. But good results could be achieved if the larger Indian society comes together on the issue and creates an ecosystem in which addiction would be a socially tabooed thing. Of course, the matter of addiction among youths is a very serious matter and political tall talk would not solve the problem. We will have to rise above the rhetoric and get engaged in a serious solution-seeking. The solution, however, lies in our country’s moral fabric and how we can utilise it.