HYDERABAD: The sale of hazardous addictive item gutka and mainpuri has gripped Thatta district, worrying the district administration, the police and the citizens alike. At an official meeting in Thatta on Saturday, which discussed the problems pertaining to health, education and infrastructure development, among others, the two addictive items remained the top concern.
“Today’s biggest problem in Thatta is consumption of gutka and mainpuri,” underlined Hyderabad Commissioner Muhammad Abbas Baloch. “There is a need to devise a comprehensive plan to get rid of these menaces and secure our youth and next generation from this hazard.
He asked the district administration to set up diagnostic camps in all parts of the districts to diagnose the people who consume the addictive substances. A special ward in Thatta government hospital should also be set up for the patients who become victims of gutka and mainpuri.
“Unfortunately, 60% of patients suffering from gutka caused cancer who are getting treatment in the hospitals in Karachi belong to Thatta,” Deputy Commissioner Muhammad Nawaz Soho informed. He said that the district administration and the police alone cannot stop the illegal manufacturing and sale of gutka and mainpuri unless the citizens take their responsibility as well.
Last year, the Sindh High Court (SHC) banned manufacturing and sale of gutka and mainpuri in the province and in October 2018, SHC ordered the Sindh government to legislate a stringent law to punish the offenders. Pointing towards the Soho’s disclosure that 750 schools are closed in Thatta, Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) MPA Syed Riaz Shah Sheerazi said that education of children is an important tool to help curb social evils.
Thatta SSP Shabbir Ahmed Setharja suggested that murder FIRs should be lodged against the manufacturers and sellers of gutka and mainpuri if a person dies due to consumption of these addictive items.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 4th, 2018.