New Delhi, Sep 2 (PTI) Pitching for a nationwide campaign against drug and substance abuse, Union Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs Kaushal Kishore on Thursday said during Covid second wave, most casualties were of those who would were addicts.
Asserting that substance abuse is one of the key reasons for poverty, he claimed that earlier 25-35 per cent of youth from Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh would be recruited in the Army, but this figure has now declined to only 5 per cent due to this.
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Ahead of Teachers’ Day, which is on September 5, he appealed to teachers to tell students about the side-effects of drug abuse and said, “On the occasion of 75 years of Independence, we will make 75 lakh youth resolve not to indulge in substance abuse ever.”
“You have seen that during the second wave of COVID-19 there were many casualties. I want to say through what I experienced that most casualties were of those who would indulge in substance abuse,” he told reporters during a press conference.
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The minister said that his son had died due to alcohol addiction.
Kishore said several BJP leaders had been infected with coronavirus as they were helping people during the pandemic.
“You may have noticed that no big leader of the opposition has been infected with coronavirus. The reason was that they did not go among people and they remained at their homes,” he said.
The minister said anybody can contract coronavirus and he had also been infected with norovirus twice despite the fact that he does not consume liquor.
“My elder brother had also died. Our six MLAs and some MPs had lost their lives to coronavirus…our UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had also been infected with COVID-19 and he recovered from the virus and started serving people,” he said.
The minister said that due to drug and substance abuse, crime and accident cases also rise, and it also harms people mentally and economically.
“For example, earlier, around 25-35 per cent of people from Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh would go to the Army, but this figure has now declined to only 5 per cent,” he said.
Asked why the government does not ban the sale of liquor across the country, he said that it will only encourage black-marketing.
“There has been a ban on the sale of liquor in Gujarat since 1960. Is the sale of liquor not taking place there (in Gujarat)? The sale of illicit liquor is still there but through black-marketing.
“You go to Bihar where the sale of spurious liquor has been taking place on a large scale. Illicit liquor is being sold at expensive rates. If there is a prohibition on anything, black-marketing start,” Kishore said.
He also said that those indulging in substance abuse lose respect in society.
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