With the aim of creating awareness about the harmful use of drugs, and in order to work towards a Drug-free Goa, Human Touch Foundation, Narcotics Control Bureau, Goa Zone along with Fr Agnel College, Pilarheld flashmobs across the state to mark International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking on June 26, 2018.
At the inaugural flashmob in Panjim, Fr Fredrick, Principal of Fr Angel College, congratulated Human Touch NCB and the young people who came forward to create awareness about substance abuse. He said that these types of programmes are cost-effective and essential for building resilience and empowering young people to be more aware about their health.
Speaking on the occasion, Jeetendra Ranjan, Superintendent, Narcotics Control Bureau, Goa Zone said that NCB has been working towards supply reduction as well as demand reduction in Goa.
“Effective prevention includes the promotion of health as well as social well-being with more focus on young people,”said Peter F Borges, Founder and CEO of Human Touch, a youth led organisation that engages youth to address HIV and substance abuse in Goa. He further said that we must seize this day as a unique opportunity to fully engage the government, civil society and the community in actions for effective prevention.
What set the flash mobs apart were their ability to grab everyone’s attention and usethat moment not only to entertain with their choreographed dance moves but also send out informative messages through placards and other forms of communication.
Peter, who has been an active member in this space and has done extensive work with many NGOs in the countryas well as the Goa State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, Goa State AIDS Control Society among others, urged others to join in these activities. “The drug problem in Goa is an extremely serious issue. The problem that was earlier confined to the coastal belt is now eating into the very vials of Goan society and is doing much more damage than even alcohol.
There is clear evidence and writing on the wall that drugs have reached the heartland. Fighting drug abuse in the state should be a shared responsibility of all. No amount of denial or ignorance is going to help find any solution to the problem unless there is any will to fight against it. The problem is very much real and everyone has a role to play,” said Peter.
It is to be noted that the youth-driven organisation is one of the rare organisations that has an affiliation with the United Nation (UNAIDS) and their info-entertainment approach was well appreciated and recognised, earning them the MTV Staying Alive Award.
“Our mission is to educate and inform the youth on social issues, inspire them to take action, encourage their participation, identify and build sustainable partnerships aimed at youth development and provide young people with tools and resources for effective action,” said a member of Human Touch Goa while talking about their groups overall goals.
The registered, youth-led, non-profit organisation, which has its headquarters in Agassaim, aim to guide the youth to become responsible, self-sufficient and participatory citizens through projects that augment health, education, human rights and livelihoods. [H]