A ray of hope for drug-addicts

Pune: Refusing to indulge in self pity, a group of drug addicts here have started an initiative to de-addict and rehabilitate themselves to join the mainstream, struggling to erase the social stigma.

As they undergo detoxification camps organised by themselves free of cost with the help of well meaning professionals, the members of "Santulan" (balance), mostly belonging to low-income strata of society have launched a " tiffin service". The service is on the lines of the famous "Dabbawalas" in Mumbai and involves ferrying lunch boxes to office-goers, in the process generating a support system and acceptance.

"This could be first such initiative by the de- addicted activists who have roped in those suffering from drug addiction to free them from abuse and raise their self-esteem with a vocational outlet as they simultaneously undergo therapy by professional psychiatrists," Dejan Smart, a Santulan member, told PTI.

Dejan, who has recovered from 16-year-long multiple addiction to drugs, sounds upbeat as he recounts the formation of `Santulan` in June last, claiming a heartening response from those seeking help to de-addict themselves and earn livelihood in a socially acceptable environment.

Explaining the concept, he said organising free camps for detoxification and de-adddiction every alternate month employing scientific methods had been a remarkable success as there were many addicts whose financial position didn`t allow them to enrol in expensive de-addiction centres.

"We did not want to stop at that. Finding acceptable means to sustain and support themselves was the big challenge which we have been able to meet with the help from like-minded well meaning individuals and bodies," he said.