Free Press Journal

No government-run drug de-addiction centres for juveniles in Mumbai


Mumbai: There are no drug de-addiction centres run by the government in Mumbai for juveniles which is a huge hindrance for the rehabilitation of the children who are trapped in the vicious cycle of taking drugs. The Child Welfare Committee (CWC) has approached the Social Justice and Empowerment Department and the Ministry of Women and Child Department to tackle the issue. However, nothing has been done so far.

According to Vijay Doiphode, Chairman of the Child Welfare Committee, “There are no drug de-addiction centres in Mumbai for juveniles. Most of the juveniles are sent to hospitals where they are kept for a few days or maximum for a month. After that they are trapped into drinking heavily due to peer pressure. It is a vicious cycle. In February, we had submitted an inquiry letter to the Women and Child Department under the Right to Information Act for the data regarding the number of juveniles. We will be filing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) soon. “Most of the drug de-addiction centres that have been set up by the Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai are unlicensed and the juveniles are not taken proper care of over there. They are beaten up brutally and  injected with drugs when they turn violent and go into relapse. The private  centres charge Rs 40,000 to Rs 50,000 per patient. The families of juveniles from lower middle class cannot afford it,”added  Doiphode.

Kripa Foundation which was founded in 1981 has been working for the rehabilitation of drug addicts and alcoholics at their centre at Mt Carmel Church, Bandra. According to Fr Cajetan Menezes, a Director at Kripa Foundation, “Getting sober, or stopping the use of drugs and alcohol, is only the first step to recovery. Recovery from addiction is a long journey. Years of substance abuse also takes a heavy toll on the body. To heal the recovery from addiction and help prevent a relapse, it is important to take gradual steps to restore our physical, psychological and spiritual health. The multi-dimensional Kripa model helps restoration of the person in recovery.”

“At Kripa, we celebrate the restoration of life. A life that was abused, lost and damaged is restored to health at our treatment centres. Fr. Joseph Pereira effectively teaches the healing model of Kripa which has a significant dimension of Iyengar yoga. We also regularly conduct workshops. On Saturday, there was a workshop conducted at the Byculla jail for women inmates. On Wednesday, there is a workshop at the police academy at Nashik,” he added.

The juveniles are kept at the Kripa centre for a month while the adults are kept for three months. Awareness programmes are conducted in schools and colleges regularly on the harmful effects of drug addiction and chemical dependency to the students of St Aloysius High school at Bandra, St.Andrew’s College at Bandra, K J Somaiya college at Vidyavihar and  medical students at B Y L Nair Hospital at Mumbai Central. Kripa has been regularly conducting training programmes for the last four years to police officers and cadets at Maharashtra Police Academy, Nashik on addiction.