BH CORRESPONDENT, New Delhi: The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime has found that out of the 271 million drug users globally, at least 35 million have developed drug-related disorders. Around 5 lakh Indians were also interviewed as part of the survey. On the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, Indian football legends join hands in the fight against drug abuse. ‘Get addicted to football, not drugs,’ they said in unison.
Legendary Indian footballer IM Vijayan said that football is a great leveller. “Football is a great leveller. Instead of seeking a quick solution through drugs, it is a wiser idea to head to the football ground. It helps you maintain a biological clock. You have a healthy appetite, maintain an 8-hour sleep cycle which is important to stay fit. Get addicted to football, not drugs,” said Vijayan.
Renedy Singh who mastered the trickery of firing teasing free-kicks during his heydays felt football can be a perfect ‘silver lining’ to come out of this setback.
“Sports, let alone football, provide you with so much positivity and energy which helps you get over this negativity and obstacle. It helps you getting healthier physically as well as psychologically.”
“It categorically minimises chances of not going back to those bad habits again. It gives you an option to live a peaceful life, away from these hazards – a reason to be proud of.”
Spiderman’ Subrata Paul feels “kicking the ball can kick-off our lives.” “There’s enormous pressure on the youngsters in today’s society. Unable to cope up with the competitive nature many tend to experiment with drugs out of depression. And slowly it becomes an addiction,” Paul quipped. “Instead take a ball and kick it. You will get addicted in no time and will find solace to stay away from all distractions. Football is beautiful, play it,” he added.
“Parents provide pocket money to their wards for food, conveyance but they use them for drugs. Initially, parents stay unaware of it and when they come to know, the kids have already fallen prey to it,” Padma Shri Bembem Devi, the most decorated woman footballer India have ever produced, said.
“I have seen youngsters getting spoilt which in the process have ruined the entire family. The effects are devastating. But the silver lining is that many showing their concern and many organisations are coming forward to help who have been affected,” she added.
Renedy felt drugs “push all to a black hole of a grave crisis.”
“Don’t jump into the black hole. Depression, unemployment, poverty, competition in professional life, family tragedy – we have all been hit by something or the other. It has under such circumstances people turn to drugs,” Renedy explained.
“Drugs can never be a solution, rather it’s a problem rooted deeper. It destroys the lives of everyone around the addicted person. The after-effects are devastating,” IM Vijayan said.