TODAY -

Sportspersons shine as state grapples with drug menace
- The People's Chronicle Editorial :: August 02, 2022 -



BY winning gold and silver medals respectively at the Commonwealth Cames-2020 currently underway in Birmingham, Saikhom Mirabai Chanu and Bindyarani Sorokhaibam have demonstrated that weightlifting has taken a firm root in the state and could produce many more champions if the government frames sports policy suitable to the physique of Manipuris.

For now, weightlifting, boxing and football remain the most popular and preferred choices for the youngsters as sportspersons who have proved their credentials or are excelling in these sports disciplines are guaranteed financial security and worldly comfort regardless of their humble beginnings.

Sports persons, who have made podium finishes at international level of competitions, are one of the sources of inspiration for thousands of youngsters, whose parents are struggling to make both ends meet.

While formative years of taking up sports as a career choice entail years of substantial investment for training and to develop one's physical condition, it is obvious once their children compete and shine at the global level then the parents heave a sigh of huge relief, for not only the government announces cash incentives but reputed private companies also make a beeline to enlist champion sportspersons as their brand ambassador with hefty payment.

Such an enticing prospect and secured future is exactly the reason why many Manipuri youngsters are willing to toil and sweat it till their set goals are achieved while their peers are unable to keep a safe distance from the vicious cycle of addiction to drugs and alcohol or indulging in wasteful activities.

Thus, it could be safely stated that the much-hyped 'war on drugs' campaign of the incumbent government wouldn't be fruitful unless priority is given towards aggressive promotion of sports among the youngsters coupled with framing laws that would render toothless attempt by even the most proficient legal practitioners to save the skin of drug dealers.

With heroin and other psychoactive drugs available abundantly and at affordable price in the state, as could be comprehended from addicts pushing heroin in public places around North AOC as well as on the embankment of Kangla Moat in broad daylight, policy makers would definitely face a huge challenge in trying to completely root out the menace of drugs from the society.

As such, in case the government authorities undermine the emergent need to stringently enforce anti-drug initiatives, the day will not be far off when only the sports infrastructure will remain but without any youngster to utilise them and bring laurels to the state.

Compared to the entire Manipur bursting into celebrations as and when its sportspersons give excellent performances, any governmental oversight in tackling the drug menace would be akin to exposing the vulnerable youngsters to mint gold for the drug dealers.

Therefore, apart from emphasis on development of sports, it is desired that the government also focus on bringing out policies effective enough to tackle the menace of drug, which is threatening to ruin the younger generation if one takes into account of the fact that almost all the rehabilitation and recovery facilities for substance abusers are running out of space, not to speak of seizures of different psychoactive substances on daily basis and widespread usage of tobacco products.



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