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INDIA: New project focuses on drug abuse and digital addiction

BREADS launches project to raise awareness on the consequences of drug abuse and digital addiction


(MissionNewswire) BREADS (Bangalore Rural Education and Development Society), the development office in the Salesian Province of Bangalore, India, has launched the DREAM (Drug Rehabilitation Education and Mentoring) project to raise awareness about the consequences of drug abuse and digital addiction.

The DREAM project, which will take place in the Indian state of Kerala, is financed by the German government and will run for 40 months, from November 2021 to February 2025. Project activities will span 10 districts in Kerala and reach 40-50 village councils, 50 schools and 10 colleges in each district. The focus will be training and awareness activities aimed at youth on the dangers of drug abuse and digital addiction. The goal is to have a counseling center in every district housed at a Don Bosco institution.

Father Binu Scaria will coordinate the project at the state level and a Salesian priest will oversee each district. The Salesian team also has two counselors and a social worker to operate at the ground level. Before the launch, the staff had a two-day workshop at Don Bosco Vaduthala, which was the site of an inaugural event.

The DREAM Project was inaugurated and launched by the Joint Excise Commissioner of Crime Branch who expressed the need for building healthy families to prevent drug abuse among children.

In his presidential address, Father Jose Koyickal, provincial, said, “Today, the greatest pandemic is drug abuse. We need to join hands with each other and the government to eradicate the pandemic.” He further noted that Salesians are at the forefront working for the well-being of children in vulnerable situations.

Salesian programs in India are primarily focused on education. Salesian primary and secondary education helps youth prepare for later technical, vocational or university study. Other programs help to support poor youth and their families by meeting the basic needs of shelter, proper nutrition and medical care.

India has the world’s fourth largest economy but more than 22 percent of the country lives in poverty. About 31 percent of the world’s multidimensionally poor children live in India, according to a report by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative.

India’s youth face a lack of educational opportunities due to issues of caste, class and gender. Almost 44 percent of the workforce is illiterate and less than 10 percent of the working-age population has completed a secondary education. In addition, many secondary school graduates do not have the knowledge and skills to compete in today’s changing job market.



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