Punjab’s drugs menace is an epidemic that seems almost impossible to heal. The state has been battling drug addiction for years and the government is now planning to take the crackdown a notch higher. Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh promised to ‘knock on every door and leave no stone unturned’ in his quest to rid his state of narcotics. Singh tweeted that he wrote to some of the biggest names in technology including the CEOs of Google and Facebook – Sundar Pichai and Mark Zuckerberg – to help support him with technology to clamp down on the menace.
The chief minister also tweeted the letter he sent to Zuckerberg where he mentions that technology forms a large part of the lives of young people and they are ‘influenced by what they see, hear and consume.’
He added to his letter that he believes that platforms such as Facebook can help in cutting down on drug usage and trafficking. To Pichai, Amarinder requested assistance in developing methods to make a drug-free Punjab.
Punjab has been facing major issues related to drugs as youngsters are increasingly indulging in narcotics. A survey by the All India Institute of Medical Science in 2016 showed that about Rs 7,500 crore worth of drugs are consumed every year. The number of addicts in Punjab is four times the global average, according to the study, and a whopping 1.23 lakh people are dependent on heroin.
In 2016 Bollywood produced a hit film aptly titled Udta Punjab in an attempt to throw light on the depth of the issue. While the problem seems enormous, it’s not impossible to resolve. Let’s hope Amarinder Singh’s request to these tech giants yield a favourable response.