New Delhi, December 14: To make school children aware about drug abuse and its ill effects, the Supreme Court today asked the Centre to formulate plan to combat drug abuse amongst school children. The SC asked the Centre to put in place within six months a national action plan to curb the rising drugs and alcohol abuse cases among schoolchildren, observing that they are encouraged to become “drug peddlers once they get addicted”.
The bench of Chief Justice T.S. Thakur and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud directed the government to undertake a nationwide survey to identify the prevalence of drug abuse across the country. Issuing a slew of directions, the bench observed, “Children are encouraged to become drug peddlers once they are addicted to drugs.” It gave six months time to the government to put in place the National Action Plan, and four months time to undertake the survey.
While hearing a petition by the NGO Bachpan Bachao Andolan, which had besides other things sought setting up of district level drug addiction centres, the apex court expressed concern over the growing menace of the drug abuse amongst children. The NGO, in its plea, had sought a direction to formulate a national action plan for children on drugs and substance abuse, including all issues of identification, investigation, recovery, counseling and rehabilitation. The NGO, represented by senior advocate HS Phoolka, had sought setting up of rehabilitation and de-addiction centres in each district of the country with a special wing for children.
While asking the governments, both at the Centre and in the states -- to create awareness about the serious consequences of the drug abuse, the court directed the Centre to include in the school curriculum the subject on harmful effects of using drugs.