Gangtok: Famous Nepali actor Uttam Pradhan, best known for his movie Darpan Chhaya, spoke about how he had become a drug addict a few years after his rise to stardom and urged the state to fight the drug menace.

Uttam Pradhan played the leading role in films like Darpan Chhaya (2001), which by and large is considered one of the biggest Nepali commercial successes across the globe. He went on to act in two other major films: Lahana (2002) and Bassin (2005).

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Pradhan then became a Chairman of the Sikkim Film Board during the SDF regime in the last decade. But from 2005 onwards, Uttam Pradhan was gripped by depression, which pushed him towards drug abuse.

Speaking on the occasion of the Newar community’s Indrajatra festival celebration on Sunday at Singtam, Pradhan said, “When I returned to Sikkim, I got a lot of respect from the government mostly in the field of arts and culture. I received awards. But then, after 3-4 years, I was very frustrated. I want to share something from my heart today. I had started taking drugs out of frustration. But with the blessings of my ancestors, the love of our people, and the courage given by my friends, I left the path of drugs and started working for the people.”

Uttam Pradhan admitted that his home town Singtam, some 30 kilometres away from Gangtok, is a hub of drug abuse, which has resulted in the loss of his near and dear ones.

“What I want to say is…today in Singtam, we have all become busy. Thinking selfishly or only for those of our own. Those earning money are earning, but we are not concerned about our society. Singtam is sinking in the drug menace. This has been a market for brown sugar. We have not paid attention to it. Due to drugs in Singtam Bazaar, many of our seniors lost their lives. Many homes have lost their children. So many families got spoiled. Many lost their sons, brothers and sisters. Please, I want to request you all. Sorry. Please, let’s all save Singtam Bazaar.”

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