Delhi government has banned the sale of such intoxicating substances to juveniles.
New Delhi: Recognising that chemical substances like bottled correction fluids, thinners, and nail polish removers are widely being misused by children for sniffing, Delhi government has banned the sale of such intoxicating substances to juveniles.
A notification issued by Delhi’s health department, which has the approval of L-G Anil Baijal, said that children below the age of 18 years cannot buy correction fluids (whiteners), thinners (diluters), glues, and vulcanised solutions (sulochans) unless they are accompanied by a parent or a guardian or “have a letter from the school authorities signifying their assent to purchase.”
Several studies have found that addiction to whiteners or other addictive substances has been on the rise among children, thanks to the easy and cheap access to such substances. Inhalant addiction in most cases is the first step in children becoming drug addicts as they always start with these substances.
“These are habit forming substances and are available without any restriction to school going children at stationery shops. The ban has to be properly enforceable and revenue authorities and police will be responsible for enforcing it. The measures shall be monitored by a district task force,” said Dr Mrinalini Darswal, the drugs controller of Delhi government and project director of Delhi State Aids Control Society.
She further said that mostly the underprivileged or homeless kids get addicted to these substances.
“They are mostly rag-pickers or earn their livelihood by cleaning cars. After working full day, they inhale these adhesives to feel relaxed. Then there is also peer pressure and a lot of them do it for enjoyment. It is a very sad scenario,” Ms Darswal added.
As per a survey conducted jointly by the women and child development department and AIIMS in 2016, there are 70,000 addicts on Delhi’s streets.