Young student leads way in Guyana’s fight for substance-free society

In a world where abuses of drugs and alcohol pose serious challenges for societies, it is refreshing to witness the determination and passion of a young individual who is striving to make a difference.
Harini Dave, a 15-year-old student of the Emma Willard School in New York, USA, led a Drug and Alcohol Abuse Programme during her summer vacation in Guyana. Her goal was clear: to raise awareness about the detrimental effects of drug and alcohol abuse, and foster a sense of responsibility and prevention among young people.
Dave’s initiative stands out, not only due to her age, but also because of the comprehensive nature of her programme. She has made it a point to engage with diverse segments of society, including schools, communities and local organizations, thus ensuring a multi-faceted approach to tackling this issue.
Dave’s programme included informative sessions held with students of the Saraswattie Vidya Niketan School and the Essequibo Technical Institute; while teachers, students, and other members of society were actively engaged in her programme in the Mahaica community. Through these engagements, she effectively presented facts, dispelled myths, and emphasized the importance of making informed choices.
Startlingly, Dave shared that recent studies have shown that some Guyanese children start drinking at the age of nine. Motivated by this shocking reality, she redoubled her efforts to educate and combat drug and alcohol abuse among young people in Guyana.
Supported by the Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha (GHDS), Dave’s efforts have gained recognition and appreciation from community leaders, who commended her for her commitment and the positive impact she is already making within such a short span of time.
Dave’s journey serves as a testament to the power of youth activism and the significant role young people can play in effecting change. By taking proactive steps to address social issues, she inspires others to follow suit, and fosters a sense of responsibility in the younger generation. Her determination and dedication fuel her aspiration to create a society free from the clutches of substance abuse; and through this initiative, she is rewriting the narrative one community at a time.