"This is a crucial victory for the thousands of HIV + individuals
in India and for organizations like Sankalp that support them." (See pg. 6)
#14 APRIL 2011
VIEWS AND VOICE.S
New Rehab Centre Inaugurated!
After almost a year of construction in the serene and beautiful mountains outside of Pune, the Good Shepherd Recovery Home Rehabilitation Centre was inaugurated on 18th February 2011. Since 2010, clients have been on the premises of the Lord's Ranch for rehab, a camp si te where religious retreats are often held. Now, the Rehab Centre has its own premises dedicated solely to the Good Shepherd Recovery Home.
Mr. Hilary De Veiga, Founder and Managing Trustee of the Lord's Ranch, organized the entire inauguration ceremony and arranged for His Lordship Bishop Thomas Dabre of Pune to consecrate the new building. With dozens of people in attendance, including many Sankalp staff, the inauguration ceremony included a certificate ceremony for those that previously completed their rehabilitation, performances by clients and staff, and speeches from Mr. Da Veiga and Mr. Eldred Tellis, Director of GSRH and Sankal p Rehabilitation Trust.
The new centre was described by an attendee of the inauguration as reminiscent of a "university campus." With the gym almost completed, poultry for a supply of fresh eggs, a vegetable garden, rabbits and cows on the way, and extensive wa ter capture facilities being built, the
centre will soon be almost entirely self-sustaining. It's the perfect setting for clients to concentrate on their recovery so that they can get back to a drug-free life.
The centre's approach to rehabilitation is a comprehensive 3-4 month program. In addition to daily group and individual counseling sessions, clients are educated in the philosophy and process of Narcotics Anonymous and encouraged to adhere to the program. The counselors help the clients analyze their past experiences and personal relationships as well as help them plan for their future, develop a strategy for staying clean, and plan their home visits. Clients perform daily work therapy including activities like cleaning and maintenance, working in the vegetable garden, attending to the chickens, and cooking. The program creates a sense of community and brotherhood among the clients and encourages them to help each other in the recovery process. With the help of the qualified staff, uniquely calm and beautiful surroundings, and a carefully structured program the Good Shepherd Recovery Home leads clients to a life free of substance dependence.
Please visit the new website: www.goodshepherdrecoveryhome.org
From left: Father Buler, Mr. Hilan) Oa Veiga, Bishop Dabre, Mrs. Adylene t» Veiga, and Mr. Eldred Tellis, ready to cut the cake to celebrate the inauguration of the new rehabilitation centre.
Sankalp Rehabilitation Trust is now registered with Givelndia .. After extensive work over the past year by Sankalp staff and volunteers our registration is finally complete. Now, there is a simple and quick way for the public to make directed donations to Sankalp. For example, you can choose to 'Sponsor Ambulance Service for Street-Based Drug Users for 1 Week' for Rs. 2500. Givelndia handles all the tasks of issuing receipts and taxsaving information on behalf of Sankalp, allowing us to focus on what's importan t: our clients.
Registration with Givelndia not only adds another channel for funding, but also gives Sankalp a stamp of credibility from their certification. Givelndia has screened over 3000 NGOs all over India, but has only certified around 200 so far. Only these organizations successfully passed the q ualifica tions for transparency and opera tional efficiency. Completing the rigorous approval process shows potential donors that Sankalp is indeed a reliable and credible NGO, worthy of Givelndia certification and, therefore, donations.
It is especially important to emphasize the benefits of donating through Givelndia. There are, of course, very attractive tax incentives that can be availed by people who donate from India, the United States, and the United Kingdom. Once a donation is made, GiveIndia will
automatically provide the donor with a receipt and Sankalp's 80G for reporting purposes.
The GiveIndia portal also allows people from all over the world to donate. No longer is it necessary to use conventional mail, now, donating is a mere click of button. If you are trying to figure out the perfect gift, what could be more meaningful than a donation to an NGO supporting some of the most marginalized people in the world. It's a gift with meaning and substance and easy to dowith the 'Gift a Donation' feature on the website.
Please consider Sankalp Rehabili tation Trust and the work we do on behalf of our clients. Help us spread the word so that more and more people can be aware of the issues of Drug Use and HIV IAIDS and, potentially, donate to support our cause. If you feel like you would like to help raise money for Sankalp, please create an iGive page, which allows you to reach out to your network on behalf of Sankalp.
Getting involved just got easier and we hope you will consider doing so, for you, for Sankalp, but most of all, for the homeless drug-users society has turned their backs on.
Please visit www.giveindia.organd search for Sankalp to get started.
Celebrating Holi at Sankalp's Mumba.i Central Drop-In Centre.
Project Hunar Employed by Tata Teleservices
A stranger to both Sankalp and the world of drug rehabilitation, I began work with a dearth of knowledge and experience, but a strong motivation to learn and act. Over a very short period of time my mind was filled with everything Sankalp and Eldred Tellis could offer, essentially a fundamental understanding of the process of and approach to harm reduction and drug rehabilitation as well as the many stumbling blocks encountered along the way.
It became apparent that the hardest part of drug rehabilitation was not necessarily getting off of drugs, which is very difficult indeed, but actually staying off of drugs. With an industry wide relapse-rate of over 90%, Sankalp has beaten the mark considerably. This can be attributed not only to the unique and effective approach taken at Sankalp by its devoted staff, but also because there has been an important tool implemented to address this issue: sustainable livelihood programs.
Providing rehabilitated clients the opportunity to develop a marketable skill and way to earn a living means that they can eventually reintegrate into society with one tremendous obstacle averted. It helps to mitigate the intense pressure and tension associated with recovery and living a life free of drugs, feelings that are proven triggers of relapse. Recently, there have been momentous developments in Sankalp's efforts.
Sankalp created its flagship Project Hunar sustainable livelihood program in May 2009 with the invaluable help and support of Sugandha Sukrutaraj of AMBA CEEIC, a Bangalore-based NCO. The basic principle of the program is to teach rehabilitated users how to do English-language data-entry using only visual recognition. Basically, many clients are illiterate and most have no knowledge of English, but they have learned to type the English alphabet not because they knowhow a 'g' or 'k'sounds, but because they know what it looks like and can find it on the keyboard.
Since May 2009, two batches of clients have passed through the program, but many went on to pursue other opportuni ties as it was proving difficul t to find employers. Nevertheless, about 10 clients continued their practicing every day in the hopes that work would come. As of January 15, 2011, after tireless work by Sugandha and Eldred, the Project Hunar clients were put on contract with Karvy Data Management Services, to process all of Tata TeIeservices' Customer Application Forms (CAFs) for new connections in South Mumbai.
II you happen to walk into Sankal p N ivara at Charni Road between 7:30pm and 11:00pm, you will find around 12 Hunar clients and a few Karvy representatives hard at work processing the day's forms. It is truly a sight to see. Clients who were, at one point, addicted to Brown Sugar and living on the streets are now working men, diligently
doing their jobs every night, earning for their future. Furthermore, with the addition of weekly English classes, the clients are learning basic English fundamentals.
It took a very long time, many meetings and mails, and tireless perseverance to establish the relationship with Tata Teleservices and Karvy. These partners were skeptical that Sankalp clients could handle the work, but now, after more than three months, there has been nothing but success and the clients are even yearning for more. Dare to underestimate the marginalized; all they need is the opportuni ty and they will shatter your assumptions.
Other Current Sustainable Livelihood Programs
Gardening at Mumbai Central Station: Working fulltime, around 5 clients head to the East Side of Mumbai Central Station every day where they are in charge of maintaining the two large gardens. They took what used to be overgrown, trash-infested areas and made them into neat and well-maintained gardens. Eager for more, Sankalp is in the process of taking over more areas on the West side. This relationship with Western Railways was fostered over the last year and on 20th December 2010 the work finally commenced.
Nursing Course: Fa ur clients are currently enrolled in a 1- year nursing course to learn the invaluable skills of health care, Training since November, the first 6 months are theoretical instruction, followed by 6-months of hands-on training. They are learning basic patient care and treatment including patient interaction, medicines, and performing basic tests. After their training they can be employed at Sankalp, or elsewhere, to earn an income and be self-sustaining. Kuldip Singh, one of the participants, said about why he appreciates the course, "During my addiction, I was miserable and totally dependent on others. Now, r am independent and healthy. This course gives me the ability to help others, when no body else cares to, so they can be healthy and independent like me."
By David Friedkin
Sal1kalp clients at the gardens of Mumbai Central Station with David Friedkin, Mr. B.N. Bhagwat,.Mr. Eldred Tellis,
and Mr. Sayed Rah1.m
Making 'Ek Roz'
By Akanksha Gupta
'Ek Roz' (One fine day) represents the one chance a drug user gets to choose between life and addiction. This is the opportunity that NGOs like Sank alp give the many drug users trapped in the cycle of everyday drug-use (ek roz: one everyday). The film is a simple docudrama based on the lives of real people. It traces the life of a drug addict from the time he decides to quit until he actually does; the toughest part in any drug user's life, I have come to realise. It is indeed the greatest test of one's willpower.
In this film my intention was to highlight the various upheavals that a drug user, and those helping him, faces during this recovery period. VVhile it is difficult to control the circumstances in which a person takes to drugs, we can, however, help him out of it. It is obvious that during this ho ur of need a drug user would require the support of stakeholders, including his family, society and, to an extent, law enforcement. Unfortunately, the lack of knowledge and empathy often makes people react harshly to a drug user, pushing him further back into the darkness. The film is an idealistic portrayal of what can be done. An attempt not so much to stray you away from reality, but to inspire people to do the right thing.
I em barked on this journey many months ago when I was first given the task to write the story. Even though I had to build a comprehensive piece of communication from a police officer's point of view wi th a predetermined ending, there was no denying that I had to know the people I was going to write about; therefore, my pursuit of the real story soon landed me at one of Sankalp's Drop-In Centres at Mumbai Central.
My first meeting with these people was enough to make me realise our perception of a drug user is based on all sorts of prejudices. Over many meetings I learned about
their lives and about their fight against addiction. The stories and confessions they shared all came from real life experiences. Most characters in this film are inspired from real people: Prasad, Shamim, Kuldeep, Mangesh, Sohail and many others are real-life heroes. They have fought against all odds to rise above every predicament and finally earn themselves a clean, healthy and productive life. They make for the perfect role models for those looking to qui t drugs.
I think what struck me the most abou t Sankalp is its people and the honesty with which this endeavour has been carried forward. The gr~atest inspiration and SOLUce of positivity has been Eldred Tellis himself. No wonder that the same attitude trickles down to all others working, living or being trea ted here.
'Ek Roz.' being my first film it is very close to my heart. There is a lot I have learnt in the process, not just about film-making but about people. These people have left a lasting impression on me: Eldred for all his honesty and humility, his dedicated staff for being so helpful, as wen as the many people who come to Sankalp for treatment. While it is not a very comfortable feeling to have a camera pointing at you all the time, these people not only let us do tha t but also helped us achieve this collective goal.
Ek Roz is our humble effort to change the way people look at drug users and their problems. We would like to raise awareness, especially among law enforcement officers, through this film about the Harm Reduction drive by Sankalp carried out to protect drug users from HIV / AIDS and other perilous diseases. We hope by doing so, the drug-users can be reintegrated in their families and society as responsible, self-sustaining individuals.
A scene from the film 'Ek Roz.'
Riches to Rags: Shaukat's story
By Havovi Anklesaria
Shaukat Ali Sayed is an educated man, well-traveled, and married with two young sons age 10 and 12. His wife works at large department store in Kalyan. At one time, he had a prosperous shipping business, an office, and 12 staff members in the Fort Area, but that would all change.
Originally from Calcutta, he came to Bombay in search of work in 1990. He trained as a mechanic in the Mum bai Port and spent 5 years sailing around the world on foreign ships, "I went to America, South Africa, South America, Europe, The Gulf, Singapore, Malaysia." But it was his profession and the transient lifestyle it engendered which planted the seeds of his addiction: "I was getting easy money and lots of it," he explains, "nine months on a ship, no distractions, and free-flowing alcohol."
After five years of port-hopping he started his own business. His company, Universal Maritime, organized ship repairs and crew recruitments. He married and settled in Kalyan, but he retained his old friends. One of his relatives was smoking brown sugar and peerpressured Shaukat into trying it. He was addicted almost immediately. Yet, money continued to flow. At that point in time his addiction was controllable and he could let go when he chose, or so he thought. Eventually problems em pted in his business: he was experiencing grea t tension, and inevitably the addiction escalated. His marriage fell apart and, consequently, he had to leave the famil y home.
When Sankalp's outreach workers" Prakash Pardesi and Sunil Birla - first spotted him, his life had hit rock-bottom. He was living on the streets and stealing to feed his habit. Although Shaukat continued to use, he started visiting the Kalyan DIC and making tentative use of its services. Yet
Shauka! (jar left) as a counsellor at the Detox Camp
the associa tion with au treach workers and peer ed uca tors offered a glimpse of hope for change. He was haunted by a better past: "I used to think all night, 'Why am I in this situation, I don't want to do Nasha, but I can't stop. I had a very good life, and now I've been reduced to stealing on the streets. ,II
Eventually, he got more involved in Sankalp's services. He was counseled and encouraged to get himself clean. At the time, Shaukat was in a very bad medical state; he was malnourished and had abscesses on his feet. He was transferred to Sankalp Nivara Community Care Center where he was cared for and slowly nursed back to heal tho
And then the almost-unavoidable relapse: "I was not yet mentally prepared to stay clean. I didn't understand how to stay clean," he says, somewhat regretfully. But Sankalp's outreach workers and counselors did not give up on Shaukat. He was given extensive one-an-one counseling and encouraged to continue attending group counseling sessions and Narcotics Anonymous meetings. It made him aware that the road to r~covery is long and hazardous, but not impossible.
As in any successful rehabilitation programme, considerable self-discipline was also involved. Shaukat was prepared to give himself time to examine his own actions and motives: "At night I used to think about what I did wrong that day and try and work on it the next day so that it wouldn'trecur."
Shaukat has been free of his addiction since December 2009 and decided to dedicate himself to working at Sankalp. He lives at the Kalyan Drop-In Centre and has taken advantage of activities for self-improvement: he is participating in a Nursing Training course, wentto an HIV workshop, does documentation work for the DIC, and participates in DIC activities. "I wanted to keep myself constantly busy," he asserts.
In January 2010, he was appointed as Peer Educator in Kalyan. Now, Shaukat has been promoted to Counselor at the new Detoxifies tion Centre in Ulhasnagar.
Shaukat is now physically very welJ and feels very good about life. No longer an addict, he is happy using his experience to help others. He feels very privileged to have had the opportunity to talk about his life and be given a second chance. He does not want to go back to his earlier life of easy money and drugs and alcohol, Although his old circle of friends has faded away, he has created a new social circle in his drug-free life.
Victory! Universal Access to 2nd Line Treatment forHIV
Sankalp Rehabilitation Trust, in cooperation with a coalition of organizations, filed an application in the Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of National AIDS Control Organization's (NACO) criteria for access to Second Line ART (Antiretroviral Therapy). The petition also stated that second line treatment should be made available to all those PLHIV (People Living with HIV) who need it, irrespective of any other criteria. With the persistence of the HIV / AIDS Unit of the Lawyers Collective, the court ruled in favour of PLHIV's right to health.
ART is a regimen, or combination, of antiretroviral drugs used to suppress the HIV retrovirus, while inhibiting its spread. Concurrently, ART can boost the CD4 count in the blood - used as an indicator of immune system strength - of PLHIV. ART also increases the body's resistance to opportunistic infections, infections that prey on the fatigued immune system ofPLHIV. First Line treatment is the first regimen that attempts to combat the virus and is chosen for its proven success and efficacy. Second Line treatment is a follow-up regimen of drugs prescribed when the First Line ceases being effective due to, for example, mutation of the virus to be resistant to the First Line regimen.
111e Petitioners argued that limiting access to Second Line violates the fundamental right to life of PLHIV. The
Supreme Court made it dear to the government that access to Second Line must be universalized. One of the issues that has arisen in the Writ Petitions concerns the criteria currently being employed by NACO for administering Second Line treatment to PLHIV. Specifically, the Petitioners, including Sankalp, have sought extension of Second Line treatment to all persons in need of it. One major issue concerning ART involves the physicians who prescribe First Line treatment to patients. They prescribe without explaining what it is, how it should be taken, or that it is available free from government centres, while capitalizing on the patients' lack of awareness.
As per the order, Second Line ART will be provided to all PLHIV who need it, whether they were in the private or public sector or on rational or irrational treatment. In the first phase (3 months), universal access to Second Line treatment would be started at four Centres of Excellence across India with immediate effect. This pilot initiative would be studied over a period of three months, after which it will be scaled up to more ART Cen tres.
This is a crucial victory for the thousands of HIV+ individuals in India and for organizations like Sankalp that support them. Many of Sankalp's clients are HIV + and this ruling provides a necessary hope in a battle that is often mired with setbacks.
the audience his story of how drugs took over his life and how he was able to overcome the addiction.
NCB Celebrates its Silver Jubilee
The Narcotics Control Bureau partnered with Sankalp and addressed questions from the audience. Mr. Khan told
Rehabilitation Trust to celebrate its 25th Anniversary on 27th March 2011. A netvvorking partner of Sankalp, NCB works in interdiction and supply reduction on a macro scale, utilizing law enforcement in their fight against drugs. The day started off early on Marine Drive at Nariman Point with Bollywood Star Abhishek Bachchan addressing the crowd of su pporters, onlookers, and media while eloquently pledging his support to the cause, FM Radio personality Malishka was also included in the ceremony. Immediately following, all participants marched to the Police Gymkhana where a panel comprised of Mr. Yashodhan Wanage (Director, NCB), Mr.Vijay Kumar IPS (Deputy Director General, NCB), Dr. Shashi Menon (Director, Kripa Foundation), Mr. Eldred Tellis (Director, SRT), and Ejaz Khan. After showing Sankalp's film, Suee, all the panelists discussed issues of drug use
. From left - Malishka, Mr. Wanage,
Abl1ishek Bachchan, and Mr, Kumar at the start of the rally for the NCB' 5 Silver Jubilee.
SANKALP REHABILITATION TRUST
Administrative Office: I st Floor, S S Bengali Municipal School, Thakurdwar Road, Chami Road (E), Mumbai - 400 002. Tel: (+091) Q22 6525 2685
E-mail: email@example.com Website: www.sankalptrust.org For Private Circulation only