Drug abuse has claimed the lives of hundreds of children under the age of 15 in India. We frequently hear about children labouring in factories, brick kilns, mines, and other perilous environments. But how often do we pause to consider the toll these conditions take on their young health?

An initiative by Anushree Foundation brought this issue into sharp focus. The foundation organised a Dental Awareness and Screening Camp for children at Taabar – A Rescue Centre for Kids. What began as a straightforward dental examination soon unveiled a deeply troubling reality. The attending doctors identified widespread drug consumption among the children. Some cases were particularly severe, resulting from intense drug and substance abuse.

Of those in attendance, over 18 children required advanced medical care due to the seriousness of their conditions. However, every child at the camp benefited from counselling sessions where they were educated about the dangers of drug consumption. They were also encouraged to speak out against any maltreatment they might experience. To foster their interest in education, Anushree Foundation distributed colouring books and notebooks.

Additionally, the medical team guided proper dental care practices. With the support of Anushree Foundation, the children were given toothbrushes, toothpaste, and other essentials for maintaining oral hygiene. The foundation emphasised the importance of oral health, conducting repeated sessions to instill oral hygiene literacy among the children.