The National Mobile Service Provider, SLT Mobitel together with the National Dangerous Drug Control Board (NDDCB) have launched a special nationwide programme towards the prevention of substance abuse in the country. As a part of this joint project, the NDDCB call centre was renovated by SLT Mobitel with state-of-the-art equipment and the operator also provided a technologically advanced digital platform for complain handling. This system is operated via IVR (Interactive Voice Response), SMS and over the phone counselling services for the general public to communicate with NDDCB efficiently with no barriers. The project was initiated under the guidance of Mr. P G Kumarasinghe Sirisena, Chairman Sri Lanka Telecom - Mobitel and Prof. Ravindra Fernando, Chairman NDDCB as a first step towards effectively contributing towards eliminating substance abuse in the country.
Substance abuse is a prevailing issue in Sri Lanka which has resulted in the increase of crime rates, youth generation being misguided, debilitating the workforce of the country with the detrimental impact of drugs on health and in turn impacting the economy of the country as well along with many other negative implications on society as a whole. This is a problem that needs to addressed with the help of all citizens in the country and SLT Mobitel together with NDDCB are taking measures towards the same with the objective of eliminating substance abuse in Sri Lanka.
Along with refurbishing the NDDCB call centre, SLT Mobitel also provided many other solutions to bridge the communication gap and provide access to information with regard to preventing substance abuse and how it can be overcome. SLT Mobitel equipped the NDDCB with a digital platform for a SMS and IVR based complain handling system where customers can send complaints in the form of a SMS to the short code 1984 which is monitored by NDDCB for necessary action. The short code also acts as a virtual call centre that connects the NDDCB help desk and counselors in remote locations to a centralized system which can be easily accessed by the general public. This short code can also be used for over the phone counselling in all three languages where callers and counselors anonymity is preserved by not revealing the mobile numbers of both parties.
Additionally to providing the necessary support and guidance for those who are subject to substance abuse, another important aspect is creating awareness and providing necessary information to make the general public aware of the issue as well as how it can be overcome. This is important for the future generations of our Nation. For this purpose, NDDCB will provide all those who call in access to pre-recorded information related to substance abuse, details of the NDDCB rehabilitation centre and other important information which are updated on a regular basis by NDDCB. The general public can also subscribe to receive daily SMS alerts from the NDDCB via the hotline 1984 provided by SLT Mobitel which contains messages on general public awareness on drug prevention.
In line with the vision of the Ministry of Telecommunication and Digital Infrastructure and the Minister of Telecommunication and Digital Infrastructure Hon. Harin Fernando of a ‘Digitalized Sri Lanka’, the digitalization of the services offered by SLT Mobitel to Government Institutes makes it easy and efficient for the general public to access information on such key issues in the society today.
Caption (from left): The state-of-the-art refurbished Call Centre being opened by NDDCB Director General Mr. K Gamage, SLT Mobitel Chairman Mr. P G Kumarasinghe Sirisena and NDDCB Chairman Prof. Ravindra Fernando.
Caption (from Left) – SLT Mobitel General Manager Product Marketing Mr. Isuru Dissanayaka, NDDCB Chairman Prof. Ravindra Fernando, NDDCB Assistant Director Research Mrs. Badrani Senanayake, NDDCB Director General Mr. K Gamage, SLT Mobitel Chairman Mr. P G Kumarasinghe Sirisena and other key members of NDDCB at the state-of-the-art Call Centre.