New Delhi, Dec 14: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday exhorted India’s youth to shun drugs as narcotics not only destroy lives and families but the money paid to buy them could be funding terrorists in their nefarious activities.
Addressing the nation in his monthly radio talk “Mann Ki Baat”, Modi said: “Sometimes I want to ask the youth who indulge in drugs that maybe you experience a different world when you take drugs. But have you ever asked where the money you buy your drugs with goes?”
“Have you thought … what if this money reaches terrorists and they buy arms using them? And using them, they kill our soldiers?
“Have your ever thought that maybe the bullet that has hit a soldier was bought from some percentage of the money you paid to buy your drugs,” Modi said.
“Have the courage to say ‘no’ (to drugs) and reject drugs. Tell your friends the same,” he said, observing that drug abuse brings “darkness, destruction and devastation” and suggested measures, including a special helpline and a social media campaign, to tackle the menace.”
“I had said the last time that I was worried about the youth of the country. I am worried as some sons and daughters get stuck with drugs and the entire family is torn apart.”
“It can destroy very good families. Drugs is something that can shatter anyone. This is a psycho-social-medical problem and cannot be solved only through medical means,” he said.
Modi noted that many people had come out of this habit and urged celebrities and people connected with public life to create awareness, while urging parents to study the changes happening in their children and try to save them.
He said he shared his thoughts on drug abuse with police officers and asked them to think of solutions to the issue.
The prime minister also sought to promote the northeast as a tourist destination and urged people to visit the region if they wanted to see the beauty of nature.
He termed the UN decision to observe June 21 as International Day of Yoga as a “matter of great pride” for India.
The PM also expressed happiness over his recent informal retreat here with chief ministers and meeting India’s World Cup-winning blind cricket team.
Congress deputy leader in the Lok Sabha Amarinder Singh welcomed the prime minister’s concern about the scourge of drugs the country was confronted with.
He, however, said that Modi’s “Mann ki Baat” on drugs “should have been more action-oriented than just a wish-list”.
Amarinder Singh said: “The prime minister must set the agenda and tell the nation what he plans to do and not just what should be done,” adding: “Who can feel the pain more than us in Punjab where an entire generation has been threatened.”
The former Punjab chief minister said: “It is good that the issue has attracted the attention of the prime minister and I hope that the ‘Mann ki Baat’ will not end up in the heart only but will be taken to its logical conclusion.”
(With Agency Inputs)