Three prominent parties; AAP, SAD-BJP and Congress slug it out as Punjab goes to poll today. The state has been bustling with a lot of activity in the run up to these elections. As the propaganda dims, all stakeholders will wait for the poll results with waited breaths.
Punjab has been plagued with numerous issues and drug abuse has been one of them. The menace of substance abuse has literally rendered the youth of Punjab worthless. They are a pale shadow of the burly, full of zeal and zest and willing to take on the world youngsters of yesteryears.
The problem is not something that is buried under the carpet. Everyone knows about it and talks about it. Alas! The corrective action has not been taken. The problem has made way in the election manifestos also. AAP and Congress have accused BJP-SAD of not having done enough to tackle the issue. Captain Amarinder Singh has vowed to annihilate the problem of drug abuse in quick time.
SAD has downplayed the issues and alleged that loose talks about the issue are tarnishing the states image. Sukhbir Singh Badal, president of the Shiromani Akali Dal was quoted as saying, “We are trying to save the youth of our country. The Congress called us drug addicts and Rahul Gandhi tarnished the image of Punjabis by calling them so.”
Punjab Opioid Dependence Survey, 2015 reveals that there are more than 860,000 opioid users in the state. The ground reality substantiates the claim. The locals, especially along the border areas rue about the dismal state of affairs. People want to migrate; for better jobs and of course, to leave the hazard of drug abuse behind.
Hopefully, the party that wins will keep this issue high on the priority list.