KARACHI - A proposal for dug abuse prevention and youth development programme in educational institutions of the province was sent to the Ministry of Education Sindh and City District Government Karachi (CDGK), the Nation has learnt on Tuesday. During her recent visit to the rehabilitation centre, Advisor to Chief Minister, Sharmila Farooqui, urged the administration of New Horizon, a NGO, to chalk out a practicable strategy to create awareness against the growing trend of drug addiction among the youth in the province and local colleges and universities. Coordinator of New Horizon, Naveed Younus, said that his organisation had been providing free treatment to the drug addicts in Karachi for the last seven years and so far provided succeeded in the rehabilitation of around 10,000 patients. With the cooperation of Narcotics Affairs Section (NAS) at the US Embassy, I have sent a proposal to Advisor to CM, Sharmila Farooqui, hoping the provincial government will implement it soon in order to have eradicate drug culture from the educational institutions, factories and other public places. It has been estimated there are more than 5 million drug addicts in the country and their number is increasing at a rate of 7% annually. The rate drug abuse among youth has reached the alarming figure of 71.5%. The above-mentioned programme will particularly focus students, teachers, youth and the parents while the target places will be schools, colleges and universities in Karachi. The objectives of this programme include training for teachers to provide drug education/prevention officer in school/university/colleges, development of youth and pressure groups in educational institutes, formation of anti-drug cells in schools, students skills development education, students intervention programme, improving skills for parents, drug prevention competition, and declaration of educational institutions drug-free places. Moreover, drug abuse prevention training workshops for teachers and trainings of students in every school/university/college are the key figures of the programme. The strategies for the programme are to conduct survey to analyse drug abuse situation in educational institutions, policy formation in line with national policy, conducting outreach activity to university, community awareness programmes, to hold second Pakistan youth congress, counselling for early intervention and formation of anti-drug youth cells. The short-term objective period for the programme is one month while the long-term aim includes reduction in demand for drugs in educational institutions, development of ever-growing network of trained teachers, and provision of an effective model to serve as a platform for ongoing training, innovation and emulation. Ministry of education and City Nazim Karachi will help implementing the programme to achieve the set goals and for this purpose a MoU will be signed soon between the said ministries and institutions. Under this MoU, the signatories will be responsible for making schools obliged for cooperation in the implementation of this programme, nominate interested teachers and students and issue training certificates to the participants.