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Posted at: Feb 8, 2016, 8:57 PM; last updated: Feb 8, 2016, 8:57 PM (IST)

‘Gangster’ pens de-addiction success, has youths hooked

Book of confessions a bestseller, into fourth edition
‘Gangster’ pens de-addiction success,  has youths hooked
Author Mintu Gursariya in Chandigarh on Sunday.

Vishav Bharti

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 7

After 17 years of gang war and drug addiction, he decided that enough was enough. Turning a new leaf, he decided to pen his story, inviting scorn and ridicule. “Have you won a gold medal in Olympics?” people would ask former kabaddi player Mintu Gursariya of Muktsar’s Gurusar Jodha village.

Undeterred, he came out with a book, Dakuan Da Munda (Bandits’ Son), a few months ago. The book has struck a chord with the Punjabi youth.

Speaking on the drug menace at a seminar here today, Mintu said he first consumed smack when he was 16 and took to heroin a decade ago. At one time, he faced 12 criminal cases, mostly for attempt to murder and robbery. He spent more than four years in jail and was convicted twice. Dejected, his father paid Rs 1,500 to a gurdwara priest for his last rites, requesting that when he (his son) died, he should not be informed about it.

Sadly, Mintu’s father died in 2003, that too in jail. He was picked up by the police for interrogation regarding crimes committed by his son.

The turning point came when while on his way back from Haryana with a consignment of drugs, he met with an accident in 2011 and almost lost a leg. “Confined to bed, I began talking to myself. I realised that I had not only murdered my father, but also killed my own dreams. I had lost my youth, my sport, everything,” he said.

“Eighteen excruciating months later when I started walking, I had stopped taking drugs altogether. It was then that I decided to write my story — to tell others that if I could do it, so could they. There were many who poked fun at me, but I remained undeterred.

“My story is the story of every youth in Punjab, they can relate with it at once,” he said, pointing out that the fourth edition of his book was out. Now Mintu has several more stories to tell, with youngsters calling him up almost every day to say that inspired by his book, they too have decided to shun drugs. 

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