Tagore International School, Vasant Vihar

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D.A.R.E. to RISE

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Drug Awareness and Rehabilitation Enterprise Campaign
Dare to rise final logo

Our school, Tagore International School, Vasant Vihar has always sought to inculcate values of compassion and far-sightedness, and have initiated various campaigns seeking to tackle an assortment of social issues prevalent today. The most recent of which, the “DARE TO RISE” campaign, centers around creating and spreading awareness about the harmful nature and long-term effects of dependence on drugs. The subject of drugs is not one that is openly discussed and it is often due to misconceptions and wrong information that students use, and get dependent on drugs. It is these misconceptions the we, through our campaign, aim to change. We envisionto make school students sensitive towards the issue of drugs and empathize with drug dependent users; to realize that drug dependence is a disease, and the people affected by it need to be treated with the same standard of care as patients suffering from any other disease. We believe if this problem is addressed now, at school level, then it will help lower the alarmingly rapid increasing of drug dependent teenagers in our country and aid those already dependent on the substance in seeking help and treatment. 

The students of classes IX-XI have been working on this project under the able guidance of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. The campaign has been headed by Devarshi Paul of XI-A and Sanjeet Aggarwal of IX-C, as presidents of this campaign. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime has been instrumental, conducting a first of its kind survey on the current situation of drug dependence and counselling in schools, and also providing access to many reports to aid in one of our key objectives of the year: to launch a counselling manual to lay down guidelines for schools on how to address and tackle the problem of drug dependency at school-level. We also have a Signature Campaign, which we set up at every PTM, through which we spread awareness amongst the parents of the students. We have also set up a board in our school to spread awareness about drug dependency and also keep the students updated on the campaigns’ work. In addition to that, we have created a facebook page, where we regularly post articles alongside giving updates about our campaign.

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Workshop on " Various aspects of Drug Abuse among Adolescents" was conducted by UNODC from 10 -14 December 2016

A workshop was conducted by the UNODC in school from 10 -14 December as a part of the D.A.R.E to Rise campaign. Mr Kunal Kishore and Dr Alpna Mittal of the UNODC conducted this workshop on various aspects of drug abuse among adolescents.

The workshop began with an introductory session, as well as a test, to check how aware the students were about the pressing issues related to drug abuse. A session was then conducted by Dr Naina Rani, of the WHO, on adolescent health and drug use, with a special focus on HIV-AIDS and the government's policies on these. The following session by Dr Alpna Mittal enlightened the students as to what risk and protective factors of drug use are, and an activity helped them identify some risk and protective factors around them. The day ended with Dr Kunal Kishore giving the students an insight as to how self esteem is a major risk factor for drug abuse among adolescents.

The second day of this 3-day workshop began with a recapitulation of the previous day's learning, by a volunteer student. Dr Alpna Mittal conducted a session on an introduction to drug. This consisted of the literal definition of the term 'drugs', the types of drugs and their effects on one's health and the stages of a drug user's career. Dr Ravindra Rao, of NDDTC AIIMS then conducted a detailed session on identifying the warning signs of drug use. This session not only taught the students the behaviour patterns of a drug user, but also how to approach such a situation in a school environment. An epidemiological update on drug use, encompassing the problems associated with it globally, was shown through a presentation by Dr Kunal Kishore. Vansh Saluja, advisor to the Delhi government on education, also conducted a quick session on the current state of government schools in Delhi, and showed great appreciation for the campaign.

Throughout the three days, a debate on whether a student should be rusticated from school if found consuming drugs continued. This debate was a fruitful one, as each student had a say on the matter. The instructors were impressed by the level of understanding and maturity shown by the students in this regard.

The third day began a similar way with a recapitulation of the previous day's sessions by a student volunteer. Dr Alpna Mittal conducted a detailed session on understanding the basics of drug use prevention. This also touched upon the ideal school policy on drug use. An informative session on effective communication was then conducted by Ms Prachi Garg, of Ernst and Young. The workshop was concluded by an activity to understand the myths and facts about drug use. A post test was conducted, to understand how much the students had progressed, and the students could then speak to the instructors personally and clarify any remaining doubts on the topic.

This workshop provided the students with a unique opportunity to understand the basics of drugs, and has enabled them to forward this information!action for a positive cause.

A three day 'Train-the- Trainer ' workshop on Drug Abuse and Prevention was conducted on 12-15 December 2016

As part of the D.A.R.E. to Rise campaign, a three day 'Train-the- Trainer ' workshop on Drug Abuse and Prevention is currently underway in the school.Twenty selected students from grades IX and X are undergoing the training conducted by UNODC .They are being trained as Master trainers who will then reach out to a larger audience within and outside the school with the aim of spreading awareness on Drug Abuse.

Nukkad Natak on Drugs Awareness was presented at Anand Vidyalaya in Nathupur, Gurgaon on 24 November 2016

Nukkad Natak on the theme of Drugs awareness presented at Anand Vidyalaya in Nathupur, Gurgaon on 24 November 2016. The school is experiencing drugs problem among its students so the performance was topical and was appreciated by all.

Fund raising event conducted by D.A.R.E. to Rise team at the corporate office of Genpact ,Gurgaon on 25 October 2016

The DARE to Rise campaign has been ever so compassionate about the struggles faced by drug abuse survivors, which has constantly been a driving force for them to strive harder to combat the evils of drug usage.

The students normally put up stalls of various items made by them at any and every event in school to generate funds for the Drug Rehabilitation Centres. On 25th October 2016, the school put up a stall at the corporate office of Genpact at Cyber City, Gurgaon. The students raised funds up to the amount of Rs 30,000 by selling paintings made by the students and the whole art department along with notebooks, cards and key chains made by the Eco Club and chocolate chip cupcakes donated to us by ‘Angels In My Kitchen’ for the same cause. The efforts of students and the school were highly appreciated and the students were able to successfully generate awareness among the people regarding the perils of drug use.

D.A.R.E. To Rise Busking Event by students on 23 October 2016

A team of eight students- 5 musicians and 3 volunteers performed at 'The Hub' at DLF Promenade Mall in Vasant Kunj. They played popular hits like "Uptown Funk" and "On top of the world", the performance attracted the attention of the passing crowd to great effect, earning numerous plaudits. The purpose of this event was to promote the campaign whilst fulfilling its objectives of spreading awareness about the harmful effects of drug abuse. The volunteers interacted with the crowd and collected signatures for the planned PIL petition to ban the use of correction fluid (whitener) in schools. Overall, the event was a success, with about 200 signatures collected and many more pledging their support to our campaign. This has helped us move one step closer to our goal of spreading awareness and creating drug-free community.

D.A.R.E. to RISE symposium in partnership with UNODC on 06 October 2016

The school in collaboration with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime(UNODC) hosted a symposium on drug awareness on 06 October 2016, which was attended by highly distinguished dignitaries from the Indian Drug Users Forum, UNODC,UNICEF, UNESCO, UNAIDS, Muskaan Foundation and the Delhi Drug Users Forum along with around 100 students and teachers from 10 prestigious schools from Delhi and the NCR.

The event started with the students from our school introducing their social initiative to combat the evils of drug usage, the 'D.A.R.E to Rise' Campaign and the symbolism behind the name, in which the acronym D.A.R.E. stands for Drug Awareness and Rehabilitation Enterprise and 'to Rise' signifies the necessity to ascend from the vexations of drug use towards a more prosperous future. This was followed by a bewitching 'Durga Stuti' enactment by the students, reinforcing the message of victory of good over evil, the apt theme for the event. Subsequently, the heads of the D.A.R.E. to Rise Campaign gave a presentation to the audience members and guests, illustrating the purpose of their campaign against drugs and and its relevance in today's times along with the work they have done for their cause and what they planned to do in the coming future in order to successfully implement their objective of coming up with a prevention policy and counselling manual for schools to combat the complications of drug usage and dependency. Afterwards, Dr. Kunal Kishore, an eminent official from the UNODC gave an informative presentation about the rising trends and the patterns of drug use in India, especially among the youth.Later on, the members of the campaign presented a donation of 30,000 rupees, which was raised by the students of our school by selling handmade crafts, to Mr.Joy Ganguly of the Indian Drug Users Forum. This was followed by the school band performing their award winning rendition about the streets of Delhi. Lastly, the principal of the school, Mrs.Madhulika Sen administered a pledge to the audience members reinstating the notions of drug awareness and rehabilitation facilitation, which was followed by a closing address by the president of the campaign and the signing of a petition on Change.Org, which urged the state government to ban intoxicating chemicals among items of daily usage , especially correction fluids.

The symposium provided an opportunity for all gathered to learn about the complex problems of drug usage and to dwell upon the ways and means to resolve the increasing number of problems due to the same, and to discourage the the youth of today's country from picking up the habit of substance abuse and going astray. The event not only generated awareness ,but through the administered pledge also successfully took a small step towards reducing the problems of drug usage and encouraging the youth of the country to strive towards the better future without any hindrances such as substance use.