Muscat: With a belief that concerted efforts by the community is required to curb the young from taking to drugs, alcohol and smoking, non-profit group Al Hayat Association along with the Indian Social Club (ISC) recently organised an 'edutainment' event in Muscat, Sur and Liwa.
The programme received an overwhelming response from all sections of the society. Babu Rajendran, general secretary, Indian Social Club who conceptualised the show and brought it to Oman said that he felt an immense sense of satisfaction after taking the event along the length and breadth of the country.
"It was not easy putting up the show considering the logistics involved. The wholehearted support of Dr P. Mohammed Ali of Galfar, AbdulRazak Ali Issa, CEO, Bank Muscat and Prem Maker of Areej Vegetable and Derivatives made the event possible.
"It took one-and-half years to put the show together. But at the end, the response we got was overwhelming. It was also a great opportunity for the Indian and Omani community to work together," Rajendran said.
The event named 'Stop SAD' meaning stop smoking, alcohol and drugs, was presented by India's well known magician Gopinath Muthukad who operates through his unique motto, 'Magic with a Mission'.
Muthukad used magic as a medium to convey his messages and travelled to all these places with his 14-member troupe and 2,000kg equipment to present the two-hour-long programme.
Sayyid Saud bin Hilal Al Busaidi, minister of State and Governor of Muscat said, "I liked the show since it was directed at the families to enjoy their time with their children and at the same time create awareness on a very important subject.
"It was a unique way of reaching target groups of all age groups of both genders."
Sheikh Mohammed bin Said Al Kalbani, minister of Social Development said, "Any event that helps to raise community drug awareness definitely will get the government support and encouragement to ensure the continuity of awareness in the noble cause and to encourage the volunteers to be creative in conducting activities and programmes that aim at preventing the harm of drugs and other psychotropic substances.
Sheikh Ali bin Saleh Al Hashar, Oman LNG's corporate affairs manager said, "It was a night to remember, the combination of entertainment and education event took the audience on tour of fun with a clear message against drug abuse and how drugs can ruin societies.
Shiekh Talal bin Rajab Al Matrooshi, counsellor, Majlis Al Shura said, "I thank Al Hayat Association and the ISC and the organisers who were behind this successful edutainment show. I enjoyed the show a lot. It is a new way of educating the parents and their children about the harms of drugs abuse and its consequences. I think the message reached everyone because it was a unique way of presenting it."
Dr Madiha bint Ahmed Al Shibani, minister of Education said, "It was creative and a different way of reaching out to families and their children in educating them about the risk of abusing drugs and other related substances. I enjoyed the edutainment show a lot."
Dr Amira bint Abdul Mohsin Al Raaidan, chairperson of Al Hayat Association said, "The need for awareness about drug abuse is of utmost importance considering the high prevalence of the menace. The age group is getting younger."
She added, "Al Hayat Association is dedicated to the cause of raising drug awareness and helping the victims of drug abuse in Oman. That is why through this event which was a combination of entertainment and education we hoped to reach out to as many people as possible. We are thankful to ISC's Dr Sathish Nambiar and Rajendran for coming up with this idea. We worked closely with Muthukad to finalise the programme so that it works in Oman's cultural context."