The stall set up by the Excise Department at the youth festivals main venue to create awareness about the ill effects of drug abuse has become a crowd-puller. It was a D-day for the Excise Department on Thursday. To their surprise, Thomas (name has been changed), who works as a driver with a private firm, surrendered his pan masala box before the officials after he attended the awareness session.
The officials said that he had been using it for the past eight years. It happened all of a sudden. He was keenly listening to us when we were explaining the ill effects of these drugs. That caused a sense of fear in him which made him take this decision. He promised that he would never use it again, M K Susheel Kumar, an Excise official, said. The stall has been luring people irrespective of age.
Right from children to the elderly have been frequenting the stall from the very first day. Various posters representing the harmful effects of drugs have been portrayed with illustrations which can easily allure people to the cause. Drugs are dangerous, even to try once - this is the message we wanted to propagate through the venture, he said.
Adarsh, 11, who came from Kasargod to attend the youth festival, was impressed by the paintings and other illustrations which were put on display. It was a clear message that we should not use it, he said. The only group which kept away from the stall is families.
This is a phenomenon which we have noticed frequently here, C Sunil Kumar, another Excise official, said. Husbands do not want to enter this stall with their wives, he said.
Though the officials are quite happy at the positive response of the people, they are not satisfied with the basic facilities provided for the stall. The officials said that the stall was too small that they could not exhibit a lot of things.