UNODC is cosponsor of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS - UNAIDS
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Conducts School Drug Abuse Awareness Programme on 9th May 2008
Contributed by Neiha Bansal, Consultant (communication & Advocacy), Project IND/G86
Mr. Lewis goes back to the class board to tell students about the different drugs.
On the 9th of May, 2008 Mr. Gary Lewis, Representative, UNODC ROSA met with senior school students of the Delhi Public School in Sushant Lok. Through this hour long dialogue on prevention of drug abuse, he held his audience of 400 young adults in the age group of 14 to 16, completely captive. Mr. Lewis spoke to the students about the different kinds of drugs and the consequences of drug abuse.
He also took the opportunity to listen to their views and to understand why they believed their peers took to drugs. A few minutes after he began, the entire auditorium was a place of youthful energy bustling with questions and different perspectives.
Students liven up and come forth to share their views openly as Mr. Lewis tactfully breaks ice with them.
There were squeals of laughter as Mr. Lewis narrated little anecdotes and injected his characteristic humor. What appealed to these young minds was his ability to roll up his sleeves and interact with them at their level.
His presentation was not just restricted to the students but also involved every teacher sitting in the hall. As he wrapped up his presentation, he left them with some thought provoking questions on how they would handle the issue as parents. Mr. Lewis also spent some time with the Principal of the school, Ms. Aditi Mishra. In their brief meeting Mr. Lewis and Ms. Mishra shared with their concerns on the issue of drug abuse among the youth. They also exchanged ideas on how students could be made more sensitive and discerning to an issue like this one.
An energetic question and answer session with the students of Delhi Public School.
As an outcome, Ms. Mishra pledged her wholehearted commitment to the cause. She also expressed her keen interest to send students to volunteer with NGO's that deal with the issue of substance abuse prevention and treatment.
Mr. Lewis left the school that morning, empowering every student, with a belief in his ability to say, 'I Decide- I will not take drugs.'