Drug Free India, a nationwide campaign, will be launched at Chandigarh University on 18 February and at Guru Jambeshwar University of Science and Technology in Hisar, with support from the Government of Haryana, on 19 February. The campaign, an initiative of The Art of Living focusing on combating the drug menace, will be launched in the presence of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, and popular actor Sanjay Dutt will also be a part of it.
Other Bollywood celebrities including Varun Dhawan, Sonakshi Sinha, Parineeti Chopra, Kapil Sharma, and Badshah have also extended their support to Drug Free India.
Nearly 60,000 students will attend the event on both days, and colleges across the country will join via live broadcast to take a pledge against drug abuse, said a statement issued by The Art of Living.
“When stress increases, man seeks to get rid of this stress and in this process gets into substance abuse,” said Sri Sri, founder of The Art of Living, adding: “When you train them in handling this stress effectively through spiritual tools like meditation, Pranayam and Yoga then their perspective towards life changes totally. Otherwise, so many youth are destroying their lives by getting into addiction. To put an end to this menace, we are organizing this nation-wide movement called the Drug Free India.”
The Art of Living has mobilised thousands of volunteers for the campaign, and they are creating SWAT (Social Wellness and Awareness Training) clubs across college campuses. These clubs will comprise students, teachers, doctors and social workers who will spread the word against drug abuse.
And now, this is what India will talk about.
This is what India will care about.
Join the rebellion for a #DrugFreeIndia .
Stay tuned for more details. pic.twitter.com/R4r7nkpfPq
— The Art of Living (@ArtofLiving) February 10, 2019
Actor Sanjay Dutt, who is known to have fought drug addiction early in his life, said: “I have experienced the menace of drugs first hand. I know the havoc it creates and so this cause is close to my heart.”
Dutt added: “I want to help create as much awareness as possible. I appeal (to) each citizen of our country to come forward and join the biggest fight against drugs.”
The Union Ministry of Human Resource Development has also extended support to the campaign. “Life is beautiful but ‘nasha’ (addiction) doesn’t let us enjoy the beauty of life,” Union HRD Minister Prakash Javdekar said in a video message, adding: “There is a rise in cases of addiction. Good people have to come forward to fight this evil.”
This is what celebrities are saying about the country’s biggest battle against drugs:
Speaking about the initiative, actor Sonakshi Sinha said: “There is no point of having a voice if you don’t use it for the right reasons. I’m very proud to use my voice and be a part of this extensive anti-drug campaign because it’s something I strongly believe in. Drugs are not cool, and its about time people realize that.”
Parineeti Chopra said she was glad everyone had come together “for this crucial cause”, while Varun Dhawan said: “India has the highest population of youth. And the biggest enemy of our youth today is drugs. I am ready to take this fight head-on.”
“If all of us take this pledge, ‘Drugs Na Karunga Na Karne Doonga’, I am sure we can eradicate this problem forever,” said rapper Badshah.
“Drugs aapki hi nahin aapke poore parivar ki khushiyan cheen leti hain. Hamara India, Drug Free India,” said stand-up comedian and actor Kapil Sharma.
Actor Varun Sharma, who has also joined the campaign, said in his message: “Don’t be a fool, drugs are not cool.”