Minor children, some younger than nine years, have fallen prey to drugs in the border state of Punjab. Many of these children have become addicts after consuming drugs for years now.These are some of the startling facts coming to the fore, amid a crackdown by the Punjab government on drug peddlers.
Vijay (9), is currently at a government-run de-addiction centre along with others in Patiala.
He had been consuming drugs since he was seven years old, say officials. Vijay and his group of friends, fell prey to easily available drugs in the area, little realising the consequences. Officials on Thursday said Vijay and his friends purchased drugs regularly from a nearby grocer and consumed it in secluded places.
The shopkeeper sold drugs to the young children for a meagre margin.
Vijay has been under treatment for two weeks now at the Saket De-addiction centre in Patiala. Doctors and counsellors say Vijay has begun showing signs of improvement.
For his parents, residents of Rasulpur Saidan in Patiala, the news of their son consuming drugs came as a shock.
Government officials said, “A good Samaritan after taking Vijay’s illiterate parents into confidence brought the boy to the de-addiction unit. Everybody was stunned to know his age.
After two weeks under 24-hour supervision of expert doctors, Vijay has finally started showing some improvement.” Vijay starts his day with yoga and other light exercises followed by a nutritious breakfast. Soon, this class II dropout, will be in control of his life, it was hoped.
Some officials point out that the drug consumption has made the children so fearless, they often jump into the strong currents of the Bhakra mainline canal without hesitation.
The government is also focusing on de-addiction and rehabilitation of addicts.