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Mizoram: Substance abuse and digital safety sessions in care homes for children  

Group of children with a tablet
Children were provided with tablets to learn how to navigate the digital world safely.

Key Points

  • Amrita University’s DST STI Hub in Mizoram conducted Substance Abuse Awareness workshops for children in two social care homes and a Special Home according to the Juvenile Justice Act.
  • The workshops in the capital of Aizawl reached 95 children. Mostly of the Mizo Tribe, they have experienced severe hardships in life and looked up to the Amrita team as role models.
  • Digital Literacy Awareness sessions were also held, aiming to equip the youth with skills to navigate the cyberworld safely and responsibly.  
3 April 2024
Main topic
Related topics
Humanitarian Rural Development

Amrita University’s DST STI Hub in Mizoram successfully conducted workshops on Substance Abuse Awareness at social care homes for children in Aizawl, the northeastern state’s capital. They include orphans, as well as children whose families are unable to care for them.   

The team reached 95 children at three different institutions. Hermon Children’s Home is an orphanage, with the majority of those children orphaned as a result of extreme poverty and increasing rates of addiction and HIV/AIDS. Abundant Life Home is for urban poor, homeless, broken families, and unwanted children. As well, the team worked with youth at a Special Home according to the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act. 

The children, mostly of the Mizo Tribe, connected well with the team, viewing them as role models—someone to look up to because, more than anything else, these children have experienced severe hardships. Music is very important to them, and the team united with the children through this form of expression. 

The sessions equipped these young minds with critical life skills, encouraging them to be careful about the choices they make. This gave them hope for a better future by empowering them with education, information, and the imparting of shared values.  

Presentations covered topics like common substances, their effects, legal consequences, and strategies for resisting peer pressure. Storytelling was used to contextualise the discussed topics and encourage questions. This fostered an open, interactive, and safe space for the children and youth to speak openly. They also took part in a creative poster-making competition about substance abuse.  

The DST STI team also held Digital Literacy Awareness sessions with the children to equip them with the skills to navigate the complexities of the digital landscape responsibly. They covered important topics like cyber-crime (identity theft and phishing), cyber-trafficking, and social-media awareness.  

Interactive group activities were designed where children were provided with tablets to explore programs like Google Sheets, Docs, and Slides. Our team members actively assisted the children, transforming learning into a fun and hands-on experience. The children responded enthusiastically and attentively throughout. 

The children also actively participated in games and poster-making competitions as they explored using tablets and presentations. Special musical performances by both the team and the kids added a delightful touch, fostering a sense of camaraderie. 

An instructor shows a tablet to children
Presentation on safety in the online world

The overall goal of the DST STI Hub in Mizoram is to empower the state’s 1.1 million citizens, 95% of whom are Tribal People. Although literacy rates are high, unemployment rates are also high and substance abuse is a rising concern among youth.  

The team plans to build Science, Technology & Innovation Hubs in the districts of Aizawl and Serchhip to promote sustainable livelihoods through Capacity Building and Skill Development for tribal communities.

The project is jointly undertaken by AmritaCREATE at Amrita University and Mizoram University, and funded by the Department of Science and Technology, Govt of India.  

Find out more – DST STI Hub in Mizoram

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