Shopian: A 21-year-old computer engineering student from Keegam village of Shopian has taken a pledge to save his area from the consumption and trade of cannabis. What he does is that he takes a bush cutter every day and starts removing cannabis plants on the waste land around orchards and village streets.
Inam ul Haq says it is his duty to save the youth in his region from cannabis smoking and its trade.
“I bear all the expenses, whether it be for the oil or for the maintenance of the machine (bush cutter),” he said while talking to Kashmir Reader.
Haq said that nobody pays him for the work, nor does he do it to get some sort of recognition.
“I started doing it in 2018 and after completing the cutting in Keegam, my native village, I went on to do it at Haji Chek and Uthmulla, neighbouring villages,” he said.
He said that his religious education and the recent rise in suicides and growing drug addiction cases were the reasons which motivated him to take this step.
“I felt that many people in my area smoke weed but I have no precise information on who smokes and who sells. I have no resources to arrange counselling or treatment, so I choose to cut the cannabis plants from the roots” he said.
Haq said that he does the cannabis cutting in his leisure time after helping his parents in orchards and spending some hours with his studies.
An official from the excise department told Kashmir Reader that the best time is after July to cut and remove cannabis plants because if it is done before June, the plants grow again and even more healthy! He said that the official guidelines also are that cannabis removal should be started in August.
Most of the south Kashmir region is fertile land for cannabis. It naturally grows in the wastelands and its abundant growth is one of the reasons for trade and smoking of cannabis in the southern region of Kashmir.