With a view to address the growing issue of tobacco and drug addiction in J&K under its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Jammu and Kashmir Bank today inaugurated ‘Project Najaath - An initiative for Tobacco and Drug-free Society’.
The Bank’s MD & CEO Baldev Prakash launched the project in presence of Executive Director Sudhir Gupta, Director Health (Kashmir) Dr Mushtaq Ahmad Rather, Joint Director Education (Kashmir) Rouf-ur-Rahman, Bank’s General Managers, other senior officers and media-persons besides officials of the directorates of health and education. Director Health (Jammu) Dr Rajeev Kumar, Director Education (Jammu) Ashok Kumar Sharma and Bank’s Divisional Head (Jammu) Sunit Kumar joined the launch-event via video-conferencing.
Speaking on the occasion, MD & CEO said, “As the premier and responsible financial institution interwoven with the social fabric of the region, J&K Bank continues to spend a part of its profits for the well-being of the people under its CSR especially in J&K. Since no society can afford the menace of drug and substance abuse among its youth, who are the future of our nation, the initiative launched today is very important and timely.”
“In this campaign, we need the support and cooperation of the Departments of Health and Education. The idea is to make positivity thrive among our youth to be full of dreams and aspirations so that they participate constructively and creatively in building of future society that is tobacco and drug-free.”, he added.
On the occasion, he also requested the media persons to highlight the importance of such projects in J&K so that these campaigns result in fostering a support system required to meet the challenge of such great proportions.
Expressing hope that the campaign will achieve its objectives to satisfaction of all the stakeholders, Executive Director Sudhir Gupta said, “Drug menace has attained dangerous proportions and by launching this campaign under CSR, we aim to compliment the efforts of Government institutions and other NGOs towards eradication of drug and other substance abuse.”
Praising the aptly captured theme of the project ‘Najaath’ - meaning ‘to get rid of’ – Director Health Services (Kashmir) Dr Mushtaq hailed the project as “a very good awareness-cum-curative initiative.”
He said, “Being the stakeholders in the well-being of this society, we need to work in co-ordination as a whole to counter the challenge of tobacco-addition and drug-menace. We need to sensitise our youth about the dangerous implications of drug-abuse while working towards removal of stigma around the issues of mental health in our societies.” Director Health Services (Jammu) Dr Rajeev Kumar also appreciated the Bank’s initiative and assured of total cooperation in the implementation of the project as it is aimed at “securing the future well-being of our own children and society.”
Describing the project Najaath as an apt and well-conceived initiative aimed at getting the youth out of the grave challenge of tobacco addiction and drug abuse, Director Education Jammu Ashok Kumar assured his complete support for successful implementation of the project by facilitating access of counsellors and subject experts to various schools across Jammu division.
Extending the department’s total support to the project Najaath, Joint Director Education extended gratitude to the Bank’s management for the initiative saying, “J&K Bank is the biggest institution here that can give greater impetus to efforts - along with the departments of Health and Education - being made to counter the drug menace in J&K as every home is connected with us one way or the other.”
“We will stand beside you all the way throughout this campaign and take this project to its primary target audience i.e. youth in our high schools and higher secondary institutions”, he said.
Earlier in his welcome address, General Manager (CSR) Syed Rais Maqbool gave a brief overview of the project and its objectives. He said, “The ‘Project Najaath’ has been conceived as a sustained multi-year campaign to get rid of tobacco-addition and drug-abuse through multiple levels of social engagements beginning with awareness and counselling to treatment and finally rehabilitation of the victims.”
“In the first phase, we shall be conducting programs in Jammu and Pulwama districts focussing on awareness about the harmful effects of tobacco-addition and drug-abuse, which will be extended to six districts of the UT by the end March, 2023”, he added.
The event concluded with the vote of thanks by DGM (CSR) Ashok Gupta.