After losing their son to drug abuse, this couple from Punjab is fighting against the social evil
Drug abuse has been a constant menace in the state of Punjab for a long time. According to a survey conducted by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, every one in three individuals are hooked to drugs in the region.
And Manjeet Singh was one of them. On March 26, 2016, he lost his life to the deadly narcotics. Since then, his parents — Mukhtiar Singh and Bhupinder Kaur — have been fighting against drug abuse. The couple, who had offered their son’s shroud to the government demanding action against drug addiction, are now going door-to-door to spread awareness about the issue.
Mukhtiar and Bhupinder approach residents in the town of Patti, in the Tarn Taran district, to encourage families to protect their children from the destructive habit. The couple even advises them to obtain help from the relevant authorities for de-addiction.
“Successive governments have done little. The situation on the ground remains as bad as ever,’’ Mukhtiar told The New Indian Express.
Mukhtiar, an assistant linesman with the Punjab State Power Corporation Ltd posted in Khem Karan, makes it a point to visit at least five families each weekend.
Sharing his experiences, he says, “Two families have handed the bodies of their children to me for cremation, and have publicly acknowledged that their loved ones died due to drugs. In other cases, the families know their children were into drugs and died, but do not acknowledge it due to social stigma and pressure from society and police.”
Earlier, Mukhtiar had approached the Sub-Divisional Magistrate’s office with his son’s body, as well as appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on his son’s ‘kaffan’ or shroud to save the youth of Punjab from drugs.
“I had submitted the ‘kaffan’ with the then SDM to send it to the Prime Minister’s office. It never reached its destination, I believe. Instead of indulging in any argument with government officials, I decided to channelise my pain towards spreading a message in society. Taking my son’s death as a theme, I launched a campaign against drugs called ‘Kaffan Bol Peya,’ he told The Tribune.
Edited by Suman Singh