IN A unique experiment, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) will release its ‘youth manifesto’ on July 3 at Amritsar at an event led by the party’s national convenor and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. Sources said the focus of the manifesto would be on the drug menace, breaking the drug supply chain with the involvement of the people and education sector which would focus on empowering the teachers. A member of the Youth Dialogue committee of AAP, who did not wish to be named, said, “When it comes to the youth of Punjab, the major problem being faced today is drugs. All political parties are ‘talking’ about it, but the point is do something so that drugs do not reach the youths at all. Our manifesto focuses on breaking the drugs supply chain. This can be done only through participation of people and the party will be proposing to set up a helpline number and complaint authority where any person can contact and give information about smugglers and suppliers.” Sources added that the focus was also on making teachers and parents a part of this ‘supply smashing’ process in schools and colleges. “We will empower parents and teachers to help us in blocking drugs supply in education institutes. Also, the focus of the manifesto is not only on de-addiction of addicts but also rehabilitating them through sports. A big chunk of youth manifesto includes focus on sports,” said the source. ‘Teachers empowerment’ will be another agenda in the youth manifesto of AAP, with a focus on ‘freeing government teachers from other responsibilities’. “Through the dialogues process held in every district where we interacted with teachers, it has come to light that teachers are unable to teach in schools because they are entangled in various duties which is simply not their job. From filling mid-day meal rations and cylinders to getting uniforms stitched and election duties and preparing atta-dal scheme lists of the government, they are even made sweepers. So, we have proposed to free them from these non-teaching duties so that they do what they are hired for and paid heavily – that is to teach,” said a party source. Also, a complete revamp of government primary schools, providing loans to poor students for higher education, renovation of aanganwadis for pre-primary kids and healthier menu including milk products in mid-day meals are also proposed, said the source.
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