I stand here at this school assembly looking at the faces of young students who are the future of our country, India. There is much potential, talent, and energy in all of you. With discipline and creativity, imagination and enthusiasm, dream and drive; there is no limit to what each one of you can achieve. But sadly, today, there is a cloud that seems to darken this brightness; it is the menace of drug addiction. So let me start off this campaign by having all of you say no to drugs.
The other part of that slogan should be, “Say Yes to Life.” When saying yes to life, let me share a word of wisdom to all the stakeholders here.:To teachers, parents, as well as students.
First of all, let me talk to our teachers. You constantly shine a light on our paths. You encourage us. We are grateful to you for that. But beyond this let me ask one more thing from you. Do not compare us with others. Do not compare our marks or our appearance.
What we expect from you is a word of appreciation. A good word of encouragement can go a long way in building our self-esteem. Give us a word of hope that in spite of our failures and mistakes we are going to make it. Perhaps the confidence you can give us, the trust you show us can in the long run help us say no to drugs than anything else.
Now let me to talk to our parents. You have made life possible for us. You have given us love and care and affection. You have given us great learning opportunities. We are here today only because of you. But there is one mistake that many parents make. You give the best toys and gadgets for your kids. You give money for their needs.
But how much of your time do you give them? Do you know the best gift you can give them is your unhurried time; your willingness to listen to them; and maybe play with them when you get a chance. Young children grow fast. And when you realize that time has flown; they will be already adults like you. Then it will be too late.
Many children turn to drugs because they seek love and acceptance they did not get at home. So they find it difficult to avoid the peer pressure and fail to say no to drugs.
Now at last, let me to talk to you my friends. There is only one life. When you are young it is the springtime of life when everything is in bloom. But there are predators everywhere. They are those who seek to drain away the nectar of your life by luring you with the temptation of entertainment, pleasure, easy money and the like.
Always know that drugs come into your life to steal, kill, and destroy. It will hook you, addict you to a path of misery, and make a wreck of your mind, body, and soul.
Those who peddle drugs will make it look attractive and even innocent. But hidden behind could be the arm of mafias and terrorist outfits who have no respect for life. Know that their only aim is money by making you compromise your bright future by trading it off for illegal enjoyment the present moment.
Therefore think long-term. Think of the people who love you. Do not bring them to tears. Say no to drugs.
Let me end now. Even when you’ve made a mistake by chance or choice or by being forced, there is always a U-turn possible. Keep up hope. It takes courage to return and you can. It is like the prodigal son returning home to his father’s love after having wasted all his possessions in wild living.
Therefore, let me urge you once again, if there is anyone who has taken the wrong step already; it is not too late. Say no to drugs and return to life and there will certainly be a future for you.