Shah to dedicate 6 ATFs to J&K through virtual mode today

Centre to bear cost of posts, infra
*Besides GMC-J, SKIMS; 4 to be set up in distts
Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Feb 8: Union Home Minister Amit Shah will tomorrow dedicate six Addiction Treatment Facilities (ATFs) in Jammu and Kashmir including five in Jammu region and one in Kashmir division through virtual mode in a function to be held in New Delhi.
He will dedicate a total of 25 ATFs to the nation.
Dr Virender Kumar, Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment will also be present at the function.
Official sources told the Excelsior that six ATFs in Jammu and Kashmir will come up at Psychiatric Hospital, an Associate Hospital of Government Medical College (GMC) Jammu, Sher–i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) Soura in Kashmir; Kathua, Rajouri, Poonch and Kishtwar District Hospitals, all in Jammu region.
Besides Amit Shah, Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla will also address the function, which is scheduled to be held at 11 am tomorrow.
GMC Jammu Principal Dr Shashi Sudhan Sharma has been supervising arrangements for launch of ATF at Psychiatric Hospital.
The district administration of Jammu, Kathua, Rajouri, Poonch and Kishtwar will also join the function online, sources said.
According to sources, Shah could interact with Dr Manu Arora, Head of Department, Psychiatric Department of the GMC Jammu through video conferencing on establishment of ATFs and facilities for the drug addicts.
“The Central Government has assured to bear expenditure of infrastructure development and four posts each in the ATFs besides giving other required funding,” sources said.
They added that the ATFs in Psychiatric Hospital (GMC Jammu) and SKIMS Soura will have De-addiction and Rehabilitation Centres, Outdoor Patients Department and Therapy while four District Hospitals including Kathua, Rajouri, Poonch and Kishtwar will initially have OPDs but the facilities there will be subsequently enhanced.
The ATF dedication programme will also see launch of e-Book on Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan (NMBA) Best Practices, sharing of experience by the District Magistrate/ Deputy Commissioner of one district where the ATF is located, screening of short film on Addiction Treatment Facility, short film on Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyan and administration of Nasha Mukt Bharat Pledge by the Union Home Minister.
Shah will also address the function.
A document by the Union Ministry of Social, Justice and Empowerment said it is the Nodal Ministry for Drug Demand Reduction which coordinates and monitors all aspects of drug abuse prevention, assessment of the extent of the problem, preventive action, treatment and rehabilitation of users, dissemination of information and public awareness.
“Under the aegis of Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment’s flagship programme, Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan, the Ministry has set up rehabilitation and treatment facilities across the country. In furthering this rehabilitation network, ATFs are being setup in the Government Hospital settings to ensure access of services to the beneficiaries in identified gap districts which do not have any Government supported de-addiction facilities.
“The ATFs are 100 percent funded by the Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry under the National Action Plan for Drug Demand Reduction (NAPDDR) and implemented through NDDTC, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi,” a document by the Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry said.
It may be mentioned here that drug addiction has become a major challenge in Jammu and Kashmir following smuggling of narcotics through Pakistan and neighbouring State of Punjab. Regularly, Jammu and Kashmir Police, Anti-Narcotics Task Force (ANTF) and other agencies have been recovering large quantity of drugs but still they manage to reach youth to spoil their career.
Besides the Union Home Ministry, the Jammu and Kashmir Government has also taken a series of measures to curb use of narcotics and rehabilitate the addicts.