Over 4,000 children say no to drugs | Pakistan Today

Over 4,000 children say no to drugs

The Foundation for a Drug-Free World (FDFW) recently launched its 10th international competition ‘Poster/Drawing/Presentation 2012’.
Talented children participated in the contest to exhibit their artistic skills and creative ideas.
This was the first time when children suffering from cancer also participated in the event.
Over 4,000 entries from all across Pakistan were received and scrutinised by the experts.
The results were announced by FDFW Pakistan Coordinator Munir Moosa Sewani.
The first position in the first category was bagged by Rameez Ali from Islamabad; second by Mohammad Shahzaib Shoib of the Army Public School & College (APS&C), Saddar, Karachi; and third by Talha Shahzad of the APS&C, Kharian Cantt.
The first position in the second category was bagged by Natalia Ashraf of the APS&C, Malir Cantt and Faisal from the Children’s Cancer Hospital; second by Kinza Hanif of the Karachi Grammar School; and third by Aimal Farooq of the International School of Choueifat, Lahore.
Certificates, medals, cash prizes, HP colour printers, kids’ learning laptops, Sega games, mobile phones and art sets were distributed among the winners.
On the occasion, FDFW Pakistan Coordinator Sewani said, “Creating awareness about drugs is a vigorous process, especially when we work with children.”
Sewani said it requires a lot of determination and will power to educate children about the hazardous effects of drugs.
Today, many drugs are easily accessible to children through vendors because there is no practical law imposed by the government to ban drugs, he said.
Moreover, he added, many street children are using sniffing drugs and cigarettes without fear.
Sewani said the use of sheesha – which is more dangerous than many other forms of drugs – among children is widespread.
He said it is equally popular among the male and the female youth of Pakistan.
It has been claimed that over 100 million people worldwide smoke sheesha and most of them are teenagers, he added.
For almost a decade now, he said, public health organisations have failed to properly address the ever-increasing hookah epidemic, despite knowing its hazardous effects.
“Research conducted on sheesha use has clearly shown that its serious health consequences, such as lung cancer, blood cancer, emphysema, low birth weight, asthma attacks, aging, behavioural problems and pneumonia, are associated with sheesha smoking. Supermarkets are openly selling sheesha to the public, but the Ministry of Health avoids taking action against them,” he added.
The FDFW coordinator said, “Islam forbids all types of drugs, and as a Muslim we must avoid them. We must follow the guidelines and teachings of our beloved Prophet (PBUH) who has shown us the right path.”
The Ministry of Education has not integrated drug awareness-related topics in the curricula of Social Studies and English, which is indeed a point to ponder because integration of such topics are the need of hour, he added.
He said the only way to eradicate drugs from the society is by teaching children to say no to drugs, which is only possible when teachers and institutional heads pledge to launch drug awareness activities in their respective institutions.
Moreover, he added, it is the responsibility of all the institutions to ban the sale of caffeine-based soft drinks, energy drinks and drug-related sweets within its premises.
The FDFW is a non-profit organisation headquartered in Los Angeles and dedicated to the eradication of illicit drugs.
The Foundation is also working for the cause of promoting drug-free life among the youth.
Its Pakistan chapter was opened by Director/Trustee Judi Shervell in 2009 and Sewani was made the Pakistan Coordinator to launch activities of FDFW in the country.
In Pakistan, the Foundation is working at the grassroots level to spread awareness among children about drugs through extracurricular activities.
Within the span of three years, FDFW Pakistan has successfully launched three poster competitions, one drawing competition, one pledge drive, three essay competitions and two letter competitions, during which people from all walks of life, through their participation, expressed their willingness to eradicate drugs from Pakistan.
The FDFW’s message has successfully reached over half a million children across Pakistan through the dissemination of drug-awareness literature and lectures to over 50,000 people.
The Foundation has also run several social projects to alleviate poverty, promote education and fulfil the wishes of ill children.
The FDFW’s projects for this year include the Talent Hungama Contest, a skills-based test, a health magazine and a Spelling Bee contest.



One Comment;

  1. saba kamran said:

    The perspective regarding the social and human cost resulting from violence has been presented excellently at think twice Pakistan.

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