Dark alleyways, littered with trash, some mattresses and excrement of animals and humans, overlooked by the unfortunate residents complacently ignoring the filth in their homes above and away, but not nearly as unfortunate as those poor souls who writhe and barely exist on the streets themselves, hiding themselves meekly from prying eyes as they spend their days trying to escape their bitter realities in the swath of various intoxicants, living in their small world where all that transpires is waking up, finding chai, rolling joints, injecting opioids or smoking them and falling back into the mental slumber of melancholy, till they, or if, they feel hunger and stuff a few morsels of food and sleep, repeat, repeat, repeat.
This is a common scene in many of the congested, obscure drug hotspots of any big city. Half their populations will eventually die young of drug related or STI related complications, the other half will suffer in conditions worse than death for the duration of their sad lives, assuming they don’t get murdered for measly amounts of money and drugs or petty quarrels by their fellow addicts.
Few today are willing to reach out to the severely downtrodden, and even fewer successfully are able to despite trying.
SHARAN Society for Service to Urban Poverty is one such organization which has been operational in Delhi since 1981, trying to pull out countless aimless fellows out of their misery, working with the urban poor. It has addressed the needs of the marginalized communities based qualitative and sustainable programs of treatment, referrals and after care for the past twenty five years. SHARAN is also involved in the field of drug treatment & HIV/AIDS with respect to harm reduction and Detoxification of drug users, Awareness & Prevention, Crisis Care and Counseling.
Yet, the streets remain the same. Addicts manipulate and abuse noble societies such as these and remain in the same misery.
Because they cannot find a connection with anything other than their drugs. Every other passerby gives them looks of disgust, fear or pity, either dehumanizing them or feeding their self-condemnation, few ever offer them an arm to pull them up or a hug to remind them that they are deserving of love too.
Mind Healers Drug Depression Research Services is one of the few trusts running a fully sponsored de-addiction programme for street addicts in collaboration with SHARAN, which is aimed at of establishing a comprehensive exit programme for the rehabilitation and employment of recovering drug users to reinstate them as an employable and drug free workforce in the society.
We visit the dropping centers for addicts hosted by SHARAN, which are tactfully located right in the middle of various downtrodden drug hotspots in Delhi, walking and talking around the places looking for street users, conversing with them to seek individuals who sincerely desire to turn their life around for the better; and bringing them to our center here in Noida, where they are put through a voluntary, love based programme where we teach them to find meaning in themselves, their lives and their families, without substance abuse.