Growers destroy their poppy plantations voluntarily

HAWAI, Mar 6: Responding to the call of the state government to shun poppy cultivation, the poppy growers in Anjaw district have voluntarily come forward to destroy their illegal plantations.
As on date, 104 people have come forward, and poppy plantations in more than 33 plots spreading over 25 villages were destroyed by the cultivators themselves, accompanied by team of officials from the district administration and police, informed Anjaw Deputy Commissioner Mamata Riba.
Since the use of opium is intrinsic in some traditional rituals, there is still resistance in many pockets. In this regard, instruction has been given by the district administration.
The Central Bureau of Narcotics is scheduled to start operation in those areas of the district, where the voluntary drive has not yet started.
The poppy growers are hoping that the government will provide alternative to poppy cultivation as promised during the budget speech.
But, this is an achievement not made overnight.
Various strategies were made and sensitization campaign on ill effects of use of opium were conducted by the District Administration through village level IEC campaigns, with close coordination of civil societies and NGOs, like Being Mishmi, CALSOM, etc.
The Panchayati Raj institutions, the GBs, conscious people, youth leaders, the Cultural & Literacy Society of Mishmi, the All Mishmi Students Union, the Khamblai Youth Society, the Bellai Welfare Society, Manyu Welfare Society, etc have worked together with local administration and police to find strategies for minimizing the opium menace.
The poppy growers were encouraged to take up agriculture, horticulture, and animal husbandry activities through programmes like BADP, skill development etc and the youths on sports activities.
Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner Riba highly appreciated the cultivators, who have come forward with a determination to shun poppy cultivation, and thanked the government for viable support through the department of Horticulture.
She gave credit to her team of officers and officials from the departments of Tax & Excise, Horticulture, Agriculture, Forest and the youth leaders for the achievement.
They are engaged in the drive since last month with the support from Superintendent of Police K Padu.
Notably, unlike previous occasions, no forces were required this time.