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Kerala launches campaign to end alcohol abuse

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Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy during an election Campaign rally supporting Congress Candidate in Coimbatore on April 19, 2014. (Photo: IANS)The Kerala government  launched a major campaign “Subodham” to help people in the state overcome alcohol, drug and other substance abuse.

The project was launched by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Art of Living Foundation founder Sri Sri Ravishankar here in the presence of religious leaders, representatives of student organisations and NGOs working against drug abuse.

“The state government aims to wipe out the menace of substance addiction from our society through ‘Subodham’. If total alcohol prohibition could save the society, the state government is ready to forego the revenue from the sale of liquor that is around Rs.7,000 crore per annum,” said Chandy.

Sri Sri Ravishankar said: “Kerala can become a model-state in anti-alcohol and drug awareness as well as rehabilitation initiatives. This initiative is very much a need of the hour. It will be a great achievement if we can implement the project successfully.”

The “Subodham” project, envisaged by the excise department, will be implemented by a high-level committee comprising experts from various fields.

Excise Minister K. Babu, who is also the chairman of “Subodham”, said: “The campaign aims to free one lakh people from drug and alcohol addiction each year.

“‘Subodham’ heralds the first step towards ‘Punarjani 2030 Project’, a state government initiative to completely eradicate the menace of substance abuse in Kerala.”

The state education department, meanwhile, agreed to include anti-drug and alcohol awareness content in the state curriculum from the next academic year.