Manipal University organises ‘Say No to Drugs’ Walkathon2 min read
Manipal: Manipal University (MU) along with the Udupi Police Department held its first ever ‘Say No to Drugs’ Walkathon 2013 on February 23. It was one of the longest walkathons organised by MU, being seven kilometres long which was inaugurated at KMC Greens at 4pm, and ended at the MGM College in Udupi.
This event was organised to create awareness against alcohol, smoking and substance abuse, and highlight student safety issues. The Walkathon was inaugurated by Dr. G K. Prabhu, who said, “We hope to make Manipal safer by reducing addiction to substances and road accidents due to drunken driving.”
“Mostly, people here in Manipal are students and we know the ill effects of drugs, but this is mass awareness – a huge crowd spreading the message,” said Abhingya Patra, a second year student of Kasturba Medical College.
Ragu Radhakrishna, the HOD of Manipal College of Dental Sciences (MCODS) Manipal, and one of the organiser, when asked about the idea behind the event said, “Some of us have reached a certain level in life where we need to contribute to society. This will raise awareness among the youth as they look up to us as role models and so many of us have joined for a cause. In fact, I am walking with some of my very own students.” When asked if a walkathon could really make a difference he replied, “Not a difference, certainly but to bring awareness. It has to be a persistent approach. I don’t think a walkathon alone will eradicate drugs but it is a starting step or a beginning.”
However, Archit Patel, a first year student from Manipal Institute of Technology (MIT) complained that although this was a good cause initiative taken by the university there were no proper registration facilities. “There was less publicity and I did not know where I could register in my own college. I had to come here to KMC Greens. If we had any doubts, we were asked to call the Associate Director and we cannot call him for each and every small thing.”
Sub-edited by Urvashi Ajmera