KKAWF for the first time in Pakistan commemorated the International Overdose Awareness Day – ‘SAVE TOMORROW – Time to Remember Time to Act’. The event was aimed to spread awareness of overdose losses and to celebrate International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD), encouraging the youth to get involved in sports and physical activities.
International Overdose Awareness Day is a global event held on August 31st each year and aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of a legal and illegal drug-related death. It also acknowledges the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have met with death or permanent injury as a result of drug overdose. To provide an opportunity for people to publicly mourn for love ones, without feeling of guilt or shame.
‘SAVE TOMORROW – Time to Remember Time to Act’ was organized at the Pakistan Sports Board facilities on 27th of August 2016 from 1600 hrs to 2100 hrs. The activities were planned for the youth, majorly for the students from different educational institutions of Islamabad, who represented their respective institutions and participated with their counselors and families.
The aim of the event was to give Community members information about the issue of fatal and non-fatal overdose, to send a strong message to current and former drug users that they are valued and their addiction can be reintegrated and to stimulate discussion about overdose prevention and drug policy. It will also remind the youth about all the risk of overdose.
In collaboration with the Islamabad Cycling Association, a cycling competition of professional cyclist, amateur cyclist and general public was organized to promote sports and physical activity among the youth. Cycling races took place around the Jinnah Stadium.
The Amateur cyclists had four categories:
- Junior 8 – 12 years old
- Teens 13 – 17 years old
- Youth 18 – 22 years old
The Secretary NCD Mr Ajaz Ali Khan, Representative of UNODC Mr Cesar Guedes, Brig Basharat from ANF, Mr. Aziz Boolani CEO Serena Hotels, Ambassadors and dignitaries gave their speeches, after which they distributed prizes among the participants of the cycling races.
The stage was also available for the participants with open mic, to give tributes to those, who lost their lives in overdose accidents.
At sunset, the participants had lit candles in remembrance of those who lost their lives to overdose accidents.
After the sunset, the participants gathered at Liaquat Gymnasium. Mr Haroon Rashid, a renowned singer and head of Burka Avenger animation, spoke to the participants. He then showcased an episode of Burka Avenger on drug awareness.
Four Musical Bands also performed at the event.