Manipal Academy of Higher Education, an institute of eminence and leading higher education provider in India, has been granted funding for a project titled “Nasha Mukt Udupi Abhiyaan by involving Young Leaders of MAHE” which is a part of the nationwide Government campaign “Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan”. Addressing the audience at a project-related event, Dr. H.S. Ballal Pro Chancellor of MAHE said that “MAHE an Institute of Excellence and Eminence has always striven hard to eradicate drug abuse and drug peddling in its campus. Our vision is to be a leading university dedicated to the pursuit of excellence by fostering disseminating and applying knowledge and instilling ethical and intellectual values to ensure and enrich the future of all the student community
Funded by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, this year-long project was undertaken by MAHE’s Department of Student Affairs led by Dr. Geetha Maiya, with the objective of raising awareness regarding the repercussions of substance abuse particularly amongst the youth, thereby creating a secure conducive atmosphere for learning and development for students in MAHE campus and in the surrounding regions of Udupi. As the principal investigator of the project, Dr. Geetha Maiya has stated that “It is an effort to educate our youth and free our society of the perils of substance abuse. I request the entire student community to help to achieve this objective by involving themselves in all activities organized as a part of the “Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan” project and help to make the entire district Nasha Mukt.
Despite the pandemic situation, MAHE is very determined in its ongoing efforts to have a drug-free campus. The project began with an International Webinar on Tobacco Control to observe World No Tobacco Day 2021, where experts from India, England, Ethiopia, Ghana, and Bangladesh discussed best practices for tobacco control and provided suggestions to strengthen policies. This was followed by a Talk by renowned psychiatrist Dr. PV Bhandary to observe the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking 2021. MAHE has plans to raise awareness by conducting a series of talks titled Nasha Mukt Udupi Abhiyaan Talk Series, targeting common issues relating to substance abuse. The first talk in the series was delivered by Dr. Rayan Charls Mathias (MAHE Student Counsellor) who addressed the audience on balancing Mental Health and dealing with substance abuse during the pandemic
On 20th July 2021, MAHE organized NMUA Talk Series #2 on “Decoding India’s Drug Laws” by Dr. Vinod C Nayak (Professor & Coordinator for Centre for Clinical & Innovative Forensics, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal).
Simultaneously, MAHE has also organized E-Poster and Slogan Writing competitions open to students across India to raise awareness of this project amongst the students.