India marks International Day against drug abuse

India marks International Day against drug abuse

With nearly 18 per cent of the world's population in the age group of 15 to 64, India is a prime market for illicit opiates originating in both South East Asia and South West Asia. (AFP)

India | Jun 26, 2016, 10.47 PM (IST)

India marked the 29th International Day against drug abuse on Sunday by holding marathons, walkathons and cyclothons in various cities to create awareness about the spreading menace.

Hundreds of people ran on the streets of Mumbai and northern India hill town of Shimla to spread the word about the ill effects of drugs.

"This activity is to run three kilometers and just to give a message to all the citizens that we have to stop drug abuse - neither will we practice it, nor will we let anyone else do it," said a participant in Mumbai.

The International Day of Anti-Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking is observed annually on June 26, since the year 1988. This year's theme is 'Listen First'.

The paramilitary Border Security Force (BSF) held a cycle rally in eastern Siliguri city to mark the day. Hundreds of students and athletes participated in the event and pledged support to the anti-drugs campaign.

"We are trying to create awareness about youngsters' addiction to drugs that reach our country illegally. One should not take drugs as life gets ruined once you get addicted to it. This is why we have never taken drugs and even tasted it," said a BSF official.

Similarly, a large number of people carried banners denouncing the use of drugs in a walkathon in New Delhi that was flagged off by Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment, Thawar Chand Gehlot.

With nearly 18 per cent of the world's population in the age group of 15 to 64, India is a prime market for illicit opiates originating in both South East Asia and South West Asia, according to the World Drug Report 2014.

(Reuters)
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