India: Actor-Entrepreneur Suniel Shetty shares emotional appeal against drug use

New Delhi, India/26 June 2024: On World Drug Day, Indian actor-entrepreneur Suniel Shetty extended support to UNODC’s efforts with a powerful message, calling on communities to reject drug use and support those affected. Shetty is widely popular for his extensive work in the Indian film industry, and has appeared in over 100 films.

His heartfelt plea highlighted the importance of awareness and collective action to address the drug challenge, with a whole-of-society approach. Through his heartfelt appeal, Shetty has once again demonstrated his commitment to humanitarian causes, using his influence to inspire action and hope.

"Drugs are a problem that hits close to home, in every community, every family," said Shetty. "It breaks my heart. Youngsters, full of potential, getting sucked into this trap. Drugs don't just destroy lives; they destroy families, communities, dreams. We can't stand by and watch this happen."

Shetty’s words struck a chord, reflecting the painful reality faced by countless families and communities devastated by drug use. His message underscored the need for collective action, urging parents, teachers, community leaders, and public figures to join forces in this critical fight. "We can't fight this challenge alone. This needs all of us – parents, teachers, community leaders, and yes, even movie stars like myself," he said.

Emphasizing prevention as a key strategy, Shetty advocated for investing in programs that keep youth away from drugs. He stressed the importance of open and honest conversations about the dangers of drugs, equipping families with the skills to communicate effectively with their children. "We need to talk openly and honestly with our young people about the dangers of drugs. We need to equip families with the skills to talk to their kids, to be there for them.”

Drawing from his personal experiences, Shetty spoke about the influence of a strong family in his own life. "When I was growing up, my parents instilled good values in me, encouraged healthy habits – you know, like hitting the gym. That kind of support system is crucial. A strong family is the best defense against addiction."

He urged society to invest in prevention programs in schools and communities, building environments where children feel loved, supported, and understood. "Let's build strong families where kids feel loved, supported, and understood. Because at the end of the day – every life saved is a victory. Every young person who chooses a healthy path is a hero."

Shetty expressed his support for UNODC initiatives in this mission. " I stand with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime to make a difference. Together, let's join hands to build a future that's bright and healthy.”