29th Nov,2012,Mehrauli New Delhi
On an invitation from Nehru Yuvak Kendra (South District Delhi), Suneel Vatsyayan ,Chairman, Nada India conducted an interactive session with adolescents young leaders (boys & girls) from Gitorni,Rajpur, Mandi, Mehrauli, Chattarpur villages of South Delhi. session was chaired and facilitated by Mr.Virender Singh District coordinator of Nehru Yuvak Kendra (South district).Mr.Vatsyayan along with Ms.Pallavi discussed in detail issues related to correction fluid, tobacco ,alcohol and drug abuse prevention,treatment and rehabilitation. Young leaders raised many questions and shared their experiences on issues related to drug abuse in their respective villages and schools. According to the children, there is general increase in the use of tobacco and correction fluid among school going and out of the school population in the slums and urbanized villages in south Delhi. Children also shared their commitment to do something in this direction at their village level as part of Nehru Yuva Kendra mandate.
The role of family and friends in prevention and treatment was also discussed in detail.
India is the world’s second largest producer of tobacco. Indians consume tobacco in a variety of ways, including smoking and chewing. It is believed that like any other developing country, the most susceptible age for initiating tobacco use in India is during adolescence and early adulthood (ages 15-24)34. The majority of users start consuming tobacco before they are 18, while some even start as young as 1035. It was estimated that during the period 1999-2001 about 5,500 adolescents were initiated into tobacco use every day in India, joining 4 million young people under the age of 15 who are already regular consumers.
Drug abuse is linked to other socioeconomic actors such as literacy, economic background, unemployment and gender. The highest risk groups are illiterate/semi-literate youth from rural communities. Street children constitute another major risk group and several interventions to curtail drug abuse among them have been initiated. An observational study of street children from Delhi aged 6-16 years showed that 57.4% had indulged in substance use at any time in their life. The minimum age at starting substance use was found to be 5.5 years. The mostcommon substances consumed were nicotine (44.5%), inhalants (24.3%), alcohol (21.8%) and cannabis (26.4%). Use of inhalants and volatile substances in the form of sniffing of adhesive glue, petrol, gasoline, thinner and spirit was reported by one-fourth of children surveyed. Maltreatment of the child emerged as the only significant predictor of substance use in the study.
Source:Pagare D, Meena GS, Singh MM, Sahu R.
Risk factors of substance use among street children from Delhi.
Indian Pediatrics. 2004 Mar; 41(3):221-5.