The widespread abuse of drugs has become a human tragedy. In Bangladesh about 80 per cent of the drug addicts are adolescents and young men of 15 to 30 years of age. Drug abuse is now prevalent everywhere both in rural and urban areas. Virtually all segments of society are severely affected by this problem. Near about 25 lakh people are drug addicted. According to a WHO survey, most drug users are young, their age ranging from 18 to 30 years. Meanwhile, a separate study conducted by the Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition (JHPN) of the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B) shows that in the capital, 79.4 percent of the users are male and 20.6 percent are female.
Drug addiction has fuelled an increased rate of dropping out of educational institutions, and anti-social behavior is also on the rise. According to police, In the last two or three years, many more teens have been arrested for using drugs than ever before. Meanwhile, law enforcers are overburdened with a large number of narcotics-related cases. Sources from the Bangladesh Police Headquarters reported that the total number of drug-related cases were 213,529. This means that at least 46% of all cases filed last year were related to narcotics. It is estimated that the number of addicts in Bangladesh is more than six million who spend over Tk 70 million every day on illegal narcotics, say studies and intelligence reports. Young people abuse drugs due to complex social and peer groups influence, frustration, depression, curiosity, a sub-cultural and psychological environment that induce the youths to take drugs. The average age of the drug addicts is 22. Students are mostly falling victims to drug abuse, which eventually lowers their standards of education and attendance at schools and colleges.
Major risk factors responsible for drug abuse are family disorganization, parental neglect, parent-child conflict, loss of spouse strife, indiscipline, isolation, lack of emotional support, rejection of love, overprotection, unemployment, repeated failure, and personality maladjustment and easy availability of drugs. For the past two decades, Bangladesh has struggled to find an effective and sustainable solution to substance abuse, which has had deleterious effects on the country’s development. Severe drug addiction has affected the productivity of a major portion of its human resources, especially the youth. Physicians say weaning someone off drug addiction is difficult, but not impossible.
Support from family and friends, professional help from doctors, and will power of the patient during inpatient or outpatient drug addiction treatment may help to end dependence on drugs. We need to return the addicts to the country’s pool of human resources. Preventive education against drug abuse is essential effective enforcement of laws by the law enforcing agency is needed to curb drug trafficking. The whole community should participate in awareness, raising program which is important to change the negative behavior of the youth. If we fail to control of this problem.it will destroy the whole civilization. Khaled Musharraf Trust is working with the youth and their families on grass root level to counsel, campaign and create awareness on the dreadful consequence of drug-abuse.
Over the last decade, we see terrorist activities on the rise worldwide, To prevent and tackle violent radicalisation and extremism has thus become more important than ever for every country . Since early 2000s there has been significant investments in policies, programs and interventions aimed at tackling these issues.
Radicalisation is a phased process in which an individual or a group embraces a radical ideology that can lead to an increased willingness to condone or use violence for political goals. In recent years there have seen a shift, in focus away from more traditional security measures to more holistic approaches which seek to build resilience to violent extremist ideologies at the individual and community level, and to address what we understand to be the root causes of violent radicalisation.
In August 17, 2005 ,Bangladesh faced the first terrorist attack when synchronized bomb blasted by the banned outfit Jama’atul Mujahideen (JMB) in 63 districts rocked the whole country , waking the nation up to the menace of rampant radicalization.
However, the pressing need to counter radicalization re-entered the limelight in the wake of the Holey Artisan attack in July 2016, when five youths stormed a café at the heart of the diplomatic zone, murdered 20 hostages and 2 police officers. This event forced domestic and international policymakers to reconsider the extent to which jihadist militancy had taken root in Bangladesh. Jihadist militancy, suggests that the appeal of jihadism has spread and that jihadists may be able to tap a new constituency from which to recruit, even if thus far only in small numbers.
Following the attack – the worst in Bangladesh’s history – the government earned praise at home and from abroad for its strong efforts to wipe out homegrown militancy. According to Police Headquarters, as of October 2017 a total of 920 cases had been filed and 3,676 people arrested in connection with militancy, while over 500 suspected militants have been released on bail.
Though Prime minister Sheikh Hasina Immediately declared a “zero tolerance” policy for dealing with militants and terrorism, youth in Bangladesh are still, a key target group for radicalization and recruitment by violent extremist groups, which includes youth from all socioeconomic backgrounds. The country’s large proportion of youth in the population, youth unemployment and high levels of internet and social media use by them facilitates radicalization and recruitment Therefore there is an urgent need to show them the right path. We need to start developing channels of communication with the general populace which has always been a significant factor in curbing terrorism. Some of those channels have already been developed but those need to be enhanced so that there is enough inflow of information from the general public to identify and combat these factors.
Developing social resilience is absolutely critical and we must harness that ability of our society to fight the menace of terrorism. This is not just a security problem—it is a national problem, a societal problem, a problem which needs to be countered for the sake of the future of Bangladesh. At the era of rising extremism, our challenge is to maintain cohesive and inclusive safe society for all. Deradicalisation and awareness programs by Khaled Mosharraf Trust aims at educating and counseling the youth and strives to combat radicalisiation.