Taking note of the cases wherein children indulge in substance abuse after buying whiteners and thinners, the Juvenile Justice Board (JJ Board) has directed the Delhi government to ban over-the-counter sale of such products to children under the age of 18 years.
In its order, the JJB has said that the children should be allowed to buy correction fluids, whiteners, thinners and other such substances only if he or she is accompanied by parents or have a letter from school authorities for buying it, reports The Indian Express.
The matter was raised after a juvenile was caught by police. Later, the child revealed that he had indulged in substance abuse after buying whiteners and thinners from a grocery store owner in Seemapuri area of Delhi. While hearing the case, the JJ Board said it had over the last year noticed an “a steady influx of children afflicted with drug enslavement”.
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The board also considered a draft report of ‘Mapping and Size Estimation of Street Children who use drugs in Delhi’ prepared by the Delhi government’s Department of Women and Child Development. According to the report, there are 19,32 to 27,090 street children affected by substance abuse in national capital. Out of this, 11 per cent use “inhalants such as whiteners and thinners”. But only narcotics like heroin or ganja come under the purview of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985. While, any misuse of pharmaceutical products or whiteners fall under Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, an an Act of the Parliament of India which regulates the import, manufacture and distribution of drugs in India. Under Drugs and Cosmetics Act, it is the government and not the police can take action. Therefore, to reduce this vulnerable condition in Delhi, the Board has ordered the state government to restrict the OTC sale of these products.