New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday called for developing a nationwide community-based system for prevention of alcoholism and drug abuse, which can connect various stakeholders at every level.
    
Presenting the first National Awards for Outstanding Services in the field of Prevention of Alcoholism and Substance (Drug) Abuse at a function here, Mukherjee said alcoholism and drug abuse are a matter of serious concern for
a nation like India, given its young demographic profile.
    
There is an urgent need for concerted efforts of all stakeholders to prevent and eradicate this menace, he said.
    
The awards were presented on the occasion of International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's message was also read out at the event.
    
"It is imperative to improve our delivery mechanisms. Schemes and programmes should effectively reach the target groups, including through partnerships with the private sector and civil society. They should be in keeping with the evolving needs of the vulnerable sections of our society," Mukherjee said in his address.
    
The President stressed for more outreach programs that bring to the youth the stark facts about substance abuse.
    
He called upon teachers, faith-based groups, health care providers, law enforcement officials and all community leaders to join together to address the problem.
    
Five agencies under Institutional category and two persons under Individual category were facilitated by the President.
    
On this occasion, Union Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Kumar Selja said alcohol and drug addiction have become a major concern in the last few years as the mechanism of social check has got eroded.
    
The Youth Development Organization from Imphal, TT Ranganathan Clinical Research Foundation from Chennai, Gram Panchayat of Chharba in from Dehradun, Central Young Mizo Association from Aizawl and Nehru Yuva Kendra from Manipur were hounoured in Institutional category.
    
Anil Awachat from Pune and Soram Ratan Singh from Imphal were awarded for their works in dealing with the menace in Individual Category.

(Agencies)

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