Covid hits rehabilitation of drug addicts : The Tribune India

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Covid hits rehabilitation of drug addicts

Covid hits rehabilitation of drug addicts

A view of the Red Cross de-addiction centre in Gurdaspur. Tribune photo



The Red Cross De-addiction Centre on the Gurdaspur-Sri Hargobindpur road is once again in the news. Owing to the Covid-induced restrictions, the centre cannot admit drug addicts to its full capacity. It is a 30-bedded centre but these days not more than 20 addicts can be admitted. On the flip side, the fact remains that due to Covid, and subsequent loss of jobs, more and more youngsters are taking to drugs. In fact, this is the time when the centre should have increased its capacity instead of being forced to decrease it. Drug addicts living in Gurdaspur and its satellite townships used to visit the centre regularly. Project director Romesh Mahajan says he is helpless and it really pains him to turn down the request of addicts. He says social distancing has to be maintained at every cost. His counsellors Abha Sharma, Komalpreet Kaur, Dolly Sharma and Saroj too are having a tough time in declining the requests of the young people who have been caught, inadvertently or otherwise, in the dope trap. “Actually, what we do here at the centre is to provide relief to an addict when he suffers from the withdrawal effects of drugs. The priority for any addict is to anesthetise the pain of living to ease the passage of the day with some purchased relief. It hurts when we are unable to provide that relief. I often tell addicts that if you can quit for a day, you can quit for a lifetime,” said Abha Sharma. Komalpreet Kaur agrees that rehabilitation is indeed tough. “Nobody stays recovered unless the life they have created is more rewarding and satisfying than the life they have left behind,” she said. On the other hand Dolly Sharma claims that complete rehabilitation is possible only and only if people selling drugs are nabbed by the cops. “It is easy to get the monkey off your back but it is not easy for the circus to pack its bags and leave the town,” she said. Romesh Mahajan, who has been running the centre for the past three decades, claims there are so many things that a youngster fighting addiction needs on a daily basis but all these have been taken away because of the pandemic. This, he says, is one big reason for addicts to relapse into their old habits. My advice to addicts in these times of Covid is: Our greatest achievement does not lie in not falling, but in rising every time we fall.

Ex-BJP MLA Sita Ram Kashyap passes away

 Sita Ram Kashyap

Life in Dinanagar on Friday began with a sad news.

Ex-BJP MLA Sita Ram Kashyap (84), who had endeared himself to his constituents by doing yeoman’s service during his stint as a legislator from 2007 till 2012, died in his sleep. Residents would not believe that Kashyap was no more till the social media announced his demise. His son, Vikas, said his father was suffering from age-related ailments but he had no serious medical problems. An immensely likable personality, people from all walks of life gathered at his residence, to pay their last respects. Obituaries poured in from administration officials as well as BJP big wigs. Politicians cut across party lines to pay their last respects. His daughter-in-law Renu Kashyap is a school teacher and is in the reckoning for the BJP ticket from the Dinanagar assembly seat. “My father-in-law did a lot for his constituency. We all have to die some day or the other. The goal is not to live forever, the goal is to do something creative that will live on forever,” she said.

Ticket allocation rattles Congress leader

Last week, when the Congress announced the candidature of Mandeep Singh Rangar Nangal from the reserved seat of Rangar Nangal, there were many who claimed they had never heard of the man. In fact, his candidature was propped up and backed by Cabinet minister Tripat Rajinder Singh Bajwa. The moment his name was officially announced, Rajya Sabha MP Partap Singh Bajwa held an impressive gathering and told all and sundry that, “Mandeep was not a good choice. He has been named without consulting me. I am asking for a review. There are several contenders better suited for the ticket than him.”

(Contributed by Ravi Dhaliwal)


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