Saturday, April 5, 2014

Mobilizing communities by Recovering peer educators for drug prevention

Mobilising communities with the help of recovering peer educators and women for drug abuse prevention….. case study by Suneel vatsyayan presented at UNODC function in Delhi 23rd June 1997
It is interesting that theme for that year`s  International Day against Drug abuse and Illicit Trafficking ,that is 26th of June, 1997 is community mobilization for drug prevention ,at time Navjyoti Delhi Police Foundation when Navjyoti was involved in major community mobilization programmes. In this context, what happened on 21st march ,97 at village Bakkerwla in west Delhi ,is significant. Two recovering addicts from this village Dayanand and Karamveer ,celebrated their recovering birthdays at a public function ,under auspices of Navjyoti gratitude club  .the gratitude club was started by recovering addicts of Navjyoti Delhi Police Foundation. It is their own efforts after having been freed  from deadly clutches of drug addiction, these courageous feel solemn responsibility which they have received from organisation and community .The gratitude club also helps in identifying addicts ,their treatment and recovery besides financial assistance them.

It is in order to express their gratitude,that they organised  a major programme at which the birthdays were celebrated , with whole village turning up to greet them .this was indeed momentous occasion for “Birthday babies”,Daynanda and Karmveer  ,aged 30 and 25.they were celebrating their 2nd and 1st recovering birthdays respectively . men,women,young,old  and children listened in rapt attention as detained and Karmveer shared their testimony. There were moving scenes when their family members came up on the stage to share feelings .


The representatives of the local community expressed their concern about the growing drug menace among youth in the village and near by areas.they wanted Navjyoti ,Delhi Police Foundation to help them out.The elders expressed their willingness to help and provide assistance to their young ones.An instant voluntary fund collection was initiated and in no time an amount of over Rupees Twenty thousand were collected .this was community mobilisation in action ;spontaneous community action to tackle at least part of major problem affecting the village.

There was another fall -out of 21st March Gratitude club function in village Bakkarwala. The recovering addicts of  area and villagers decided to have weekly “Self help group meetings”.They have named their group as “Navshakti” it is gratifying that this self help group has been meeting every week,since then,in the village. Over twenty recovering addicts from Navjyoti have been attending these meetings.

Another highlight of the Bakkerwala village programme was a play staged by “Navjyoti Natya Manch”.incidentally the Natya Manch (Theatrical group) is run by recovering addicts .The script for this play was evolved through interaction within the group.The message. thus presented enhanced the effect on those who watched the play. Obviously when addicts themselves act out the trauma and subsequent victory which they have experienced, it is like a direct dialogue between the community and themselves.