Bathinda (Punjab): Shaken by the death of 25 youngsters of the village due to drug addiction over the past five years, the residents of Beedtalab, a village about 10 km from here, have decided to wage a battle against drugs on their own.
They have formed squads, which guard the village borders round-the-clock to make sure that no drug peddler is able to make his way into the habitation and they have handed over many smugglers to the police. The same happened in Badi and Lelwala, two villages in the district notorious for drug addicts. In Himmatpura, those dealing in drugs were driven out of the village and the addicts were socially boycotted.
The villagers have developed their own intelligence network, which identifies those addicted to drugs and makes sure that they are admitted to de-addiction centres. Now, every house in the village has a board outside declaring it to be the abode of a “Nasha-Mukta Parivar’ (Addiction-free family).
The residents of Beedtalab held a meeting in which a formal resolution was passed saying that the villagers will neither peddle drugs themselves nor allow anyone else to do it. If anyone is caught indulging in the trade, he would be immediately handed over to the police. A board has been put up at the entry point of the village saying “No entry for the inebriated.”
In village Selbarah, the youth engaged in awakening the people were threatened by the smugglers. However, instead of giving up, they got a case registered against them with the police and their campaign continues unabated.
(Story: Haridutt Joshi)