Mangaluru: In preparation for the upcoming Anti-Drug Campaign within the Diocese of Mangalore, a pivotal half-day workshop was held to equip trainers with the skills necessary to advocate against drug abuse. The workshop, titled “Mastering Anti-Drug Advocacy,” took place on Aug 12, 2023, at the Bishop’s House in Kodialbail, Mangaluru.
Most Rev. Dr Peter Paul Saldanha, Bishop of Mangalore, addressed the trainers during the workshop. In his opening remarks, he stressed the importance of the campaign’s mission and the pivotal role of the resource team in shaping a healthier and drug-free community. The Bishop emphasized the gravity of the situation, saying, “Families with drug-addicted youth are broken. Parents are helpless. We have a few counselling centres. Conscientisation of this plight is inevitable. Prevention is better than cure. I need your support to save our families and youth.”
The workshop featured prominent speakers who shared their insights and expertise to empower the trainers for this vital campaign.
Dr Thomas Scaria, Director of the Ecolink Institute of Well-being, presented a comprehensive overview of the “Science of Addiction.” His in-depth exploration shed light on the psychological and physiological aspects of addiction, providing trainers with a solid foundation to effectively address this issue.
Clara D’Cunha, Trustee of TELOCA Rehabilitation Centres, delved into the realm of “Prevention Science.” Her presentation highlighted evidence-based strategies for preventing drug abuse and fostering a protective environment for vulnerable individuals.
Ida D’Souza, a distinguished member of the Juvenile Justice Board in D.K. Mangalore and a faculty member at DSPH, MAHE, Manipal, discussed the “JJ Act and NDPS Act.” Her presentation shed light on the legal implications of drug abuse, especially concerning teenagers. She elucidated how these acts can be used as tools to safeguard the youth from falling into the clutches of addiction.
The workshop was orchestrated by the Convenor of the Campaign, Louis J Pinto, who is an Executive Committee Member of the Diocesan Pastoral Parishad (DPP), and Dr John D Silva, Secretary of DPP and Fr Anil Ivan Fernandes, Director of Canara Communication Centre. Their dedication and coordination were instrumental in bringing together this educational and motivational event.
The workshop concluded with an engaging group discussion aimed at devising a comprehensive and uniform training module. This module will be instrumental in providing consistent anti-drug advocacy training across parishes and institutions, ensuring that the message of the campaign reaches far and wide.
The event marked a significant step in the preparation for the upcoming Anti-Drug Campaign in the Mangalore Diocese. With a well-informed and empowered resource team at the helm, the diocese is poised to create a lasting impact in the fight against drug abuse and its devastating effects on individuals and communities.
Report and Pics: Canara Communication Centre, Mangalore