World Drug Day 2011: Promoting healthy choices in Pakistan
Marking World Drug Day on 26 June, UNODC in Pakistan launched a series of events aimed at raising awareness of the major problem that illicit drug use represents to society and particularly to young people. This year's theme was "Global Action for Healthy Communities without Drugs", highlighting the role communities can play in addressing the drug challenge.
"Prevention starts with a community that cares about the vulnerable and it involves families, teachers, youth leaders and mentors, among others. We must start to think globally and act locally to curb drug use and drug trafficking", said UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov in Vienna.
UNODC in Pakistan announced 15 scholarships to talented pupils to educate their peers about the dangers of drug use, and promote healthy choices. Ten scholarships were awarded to children at primary schools, and five scholarships to students at secondary schools. The reward packages include uniforms, shoes, school bags, school books, stationary and tuition.
UNODC engaged Mr. Shahid Afridi - Test Cricketer for Pakistan with an extensive cricketing record - who spoke on FM100 radio, warning the youth of Pakistan about the dangers of drug use.
Mr. Afridi played 27 tests, 325 One Day Internationals (ODIs) and 43 Twenty20 internationals. He holds the world record for fastest ODI century which he made in his first international innings. This year, he was the captain of the Pakistan cricket team and made it to the Semi-Finals during the Cricket World Cup.
FM100 radio broadcast anti-drug use messages over the course of a week. The radio station also aired a live talk show, and an update on UNODC's flagship publication, the World Drug Report (see article on this web site).
UNODC televised public service messages on display screens around Islamabad and Rawalpindi, and put up banners carrying drug day messages in both English and Urdu.
UNODC further launched an SMS campaign in English and Urdu sending drug day messages to 400.000 people in Rawalpindi and Islamabad.
Activites with Afghan Refugees
UNODC also used World Drug Day to promote healthy choices in Afghan refugee camps Mera Kachori, Khurassan and Kot Chandna. A cricket tournament, poem recitals, a speech competition and a walk were organized in close collaboration with the Commissionerate for Afghan Refugees and the Indus Welfare Foundation.