Project NAJAATH, is set to transform communities by creating a Tobacco and Drug-Free Society. With a dual focus on prevention and treatment, the project is making strides in raising awareness and providing essential support.
By Arsheed Butt
In a significant move towards fulfilling its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) obligations, Jammu and Kashmir Bank has initiated Project NAJAATH. This groundbreaking project aims to create a Tobacco and Drug-Free Society in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. Currently being piloted in Pulwama and Jammu districts, the comprehensive program addresses the multifaceted challenges associated with substance abuse by focusing on both prevention and treatment.
Project NAJAATH places a strong emphasis on prevention through extensive awareness programs conducted at both institutional and community levels. The initiative seeks to educate and empower individuals, with a particular focus on the youth, regarding the detrimental effects of tobacco and drug consumption. By fostering a culture of awareness, the project aims to deter the initiation of such habits and promote a healthier lifestyle.
Treatment Measures through Counselling and Referrals:
Recognizing the need for a holistic approach, Project NAJAATH incorporates treatment measures by providing counseling services and facilitating referrals to nearby Addiction Treatment Facilities (ATFs) and other Health Facilities. The program acknowledges the significance of a support system in the recovery process, ensuring that individuals struggling with substance abuse receive the necessary guidance and medical attention.
Execution and Collaboration:
Project NAJAATH is being executed through SPVLG Foundation, a reputable Srinagar-based non-governmental organization (NGO) known for its community development initiatives. The Foundation is implementing the program under the technical guidance of the Jammu & Kashmir Health Department, specifically the State Tobacco Control Cell and anti-addiction cell.
Formally launched on 10th November, 2023, at the J&K Bank Corporate Headquarters in Srinagar by MD/CEO Baldev Prakash, the event was attended by key figures such as Director Health Services Kashmir Dr. Mushtaq Ahmad Rather, Director Health Jammu Dr. Rajeev Kumar, and Director School Education Jammu Shri Ashok Kumar Sharma. Other notable attendees included Rouf-ul-Rehman, Joint Director School Education Kashmir, senior-level officers of the Bank, management of SPVLG Foundation, and members of the media fraternity.
Awareness Campaign and Treatment Progress:
Over the last six weeks, SPVLG Team has conducted various awareness activities in the community and educational institutions of district Pulwama, reaching 35 participants. Simultaneously, a robust campaign on Radio Mirchi (FM 98.3) has been ongoing since 1st November, 2023, reaching a wider audience during peak hours in the morning and evening slots. Two radio talks featuring Dr. Majid Shafi, a psychiatric/anti-addiction specialist, and Dr. Mir Mushtaq, Nodal Officer Tobacco Control Cell, DHSK, have been recorded and aired, engaging in conversations about prevention and treatment strategies for addiction.
Treatment for tobacco addiction under the project includes the supply of Nicotine patches to the ATF District Hospital Pulwama. Over the last month, 65 patients have received consultations along with nicotine supply. Additionally, ATF Pulwama has identified two patients for administering Naltrexone implants, a modern intervention for chronic addiction cases.
Future Plans and Gratitude:
Following the successful implementation of the pilot phase, Project NAJAATH aims to expand its reach to other highly affected districts in Jammu and Kashmir, highlighting the program’s commitment to creating a lasting impact on the health and well-being of the community.
Jammu and Kashmir Bank expresses gratitude to all stakeholders, including SPVLG Foundation, the J&K Health Department, and local communities, for their collaboration and support in making Project NAJAATH a reality. The bank remains steadfast in its commitment to fostering positive change and contributing to the welfare of society through transformative initiatives.