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"A recent testing of clients at Sankalp shows 43% positive with HCVn (See pg.

3) #15 NOVEMBER 2011

VIEWS AND VOICES

God is with us
There is no doubt about this fact. Throughout of Sankalp Rehabilitation has been very apparent the growth the centre was running to full capacity. We have a good Trust, the hand of the Almighty in the ways that we have been able and enhance in the manner our work. This in which we team of staff who get along very well and take pride in doing effective work through the new centre. Brown to face various challenges, was once more received evident sugar injectors, chasers and alcoholics can access help, and decide to go for Rehab treatment as well, space, but knowing surroundings, it is

the funding

from

the ALF (Annika

Linden

We are also trying to shift to a bigger the rates in Mumbai

Foundation). With our networking giving us such partner The Lords center Ranch Trust Shepherd

and its immediate

will not be easy. Yet, when God is with us, everything possible!

a beautiful

- Good

Recovery

Horne at Mulshi - we were in dire need of a centre where clients choosing abstinence

detoxification

could detoxify before starting the 4-month Rehab program at Good Shepherd. With assurance from friends in Delhi

that any proposal from Sankalp would get strong backing, I assumed it would be easy to obtain a grant from the So I decided it

Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. to fill an application

in a proposal format and submitted

to the 'Samaj Kalyan Adhikari' at Thane. There were direct and indirect messages for money to be paid upfront if the file had to move. From being told that" the file would onl y move with some 'weight' placed on it" to, "my boss will ask me how much has he [Eldred] filled your pockets?", I heard all pleas. Using ALL our means of 'connection', it

took 7 months to move the file tp rune. At that point I was directly told by some Shivaji More that without money,

the file would be 'sent back' to Thane and that is what happened. Just when I thought put thoughts that this frustrating experience had

of a new detox centre to rest, God sent us founder of ALF, who asked what our was, and immediately

Mark Weingard, most urgent

need

for .support

made resources available to support the new centre. Truly a Godsend! With such good signs, the new detox centre on 23rd March 2011. By the Staff at the opening of the Center

began its work in Vithalwadi

time the ALF Trustees and staff visited on 1st June 2011,

Article Contributed by Mrs. N.J. Modi (Volunteer)
39 year old Daya Singh paints is handsome, features, a tall and muscular frame personality. the shadow mistakes. Born and brought up in slums of Mumbai, Daya Singh's life began as modest and happy. He belonged to a family of four, including parents and a young brother. His father was a servant in the home of the legendary movie artist Kishore Kumar; money flowed in steadily and the family led a decent life. The two brothers attended medium School, considered However, community. bad times an English in their the very prestigious with sharp and it closed. His suppliers loaned him money for a time but stopped when they surmised that he was never going to recover. To keep the money flowing in, he resorted to crime and became an extortionist. extorting arrival money from innocent in Mumbai., His new job involved migrants upon their and robbed and a powerful and serious Behind those wise and ageing eyes, he hides of some dreadful experiences

Dark Silhouettes

Daya Singh bullied

soon fell upon

family. Daya Singh's mother's died, and soon the father's employeer passed on as well. Jobless and lonely, his father took to occasional drinking and paid less attention to his impressionable teenage sons. Money was still available to for carrying more their funds on referred to the boys and they gained reputations ever afford. The boys started drinking themselves purchased at community as "shyaana" a 'chaku'

money in their pockets than any boy in their locality could to spend Daya with his 'recovering' family! migrants and tourists at V.T. Station and Cra wford Market using his chaku, huge physique and loud voice as a scare tactic. He quickly gained the moniker "Singh" and became a common name in local police stations. Once caught, he was thrashed by the police and developed a serious fear of being caught again. By then, his body was weakened by drug abuse and police beatings. As he dwelled in that miserable condition, he began to think of the life he could have chosen to lead. He dreamt that he was a good citizen leading a normal life. He imagined that he had a wife and children. It made him happy to daydream that his for him (imaginary) wife packed a 'dabba'(lunchbox) festivals (streetsmart). and

Daya Singh even he frequently

(small knife) that

showed off to establish power and self-imposed authority. Their father too expired a few years later, and the boys were left to fend for themselves. were also introduced By this time, they to the seemingly consumed alcohol regularly and had become local goons. The brothers fascinating and mysterious world of drugs, and took their first steps in the dark world. Daya Singh began supplying cough syrup manufactured by a leading pharmaceutical company, to Nepal. At that time, the syrup was available for Rs 10/ - per bottle in Mumbai and Rs. 50/ - in Nepal. The transaction good. same was illegal of course, but the money was Daya Singh consumption got involved of drugs in rose the Some time later, time, his personal

everyday while he leftfor his (imaginary) workplace. But Daya Singh's reality was still far removed from the life he dreamt of. He became a rag picker, with no home or extra clothes. He knew he desperately needed help but couldn't bring himself to ask for it. He carried on with this existence until his body finally gave way one day and he collapsed at Cross Maidan, Mumbai. He thought he had approached he mustered death as he lost control of his bladder the strength to approach the building and of bowels. Drenched in the filth produced by his own body, Sankalp Rehabilitation for rehabilitation. once again. Trust. Here, he was given medical

trafficking of brown sugar at the Nepal border. At the rapidly. The need to earn money increased signficantly and he decided to start a roadside Income Tax office at Churchgate he employed eatery opposite area. The joint offered a

wholesome and nutritious meal, and his business grew as 6 people. Still, in the late evenings, he sold illegally imported shoes in the Churchgate area of town. The money earned from both businesses could have changed was good and

attention and kept in a clean and sanitised environment He walked out promising

fit

Daya Singh's life for the better. his drug Daya

never to fall

However, he was drawn towards his drug habit and the presence of money in his life further propelled usage. As he fell deeper into the pit of addiction,

into the drug trap again., 18 months later, he succumbed But he soon returned to Sankalp, this time With the support and with a stronger resolve to heal.

Singh was unable to manage and maintain his business,

understanding himself

of the NGO staff, Daya Singh pulled usage. His health started to

blessings from the Centre authorities they married, and he vowed to help her become rehabilitated as well. Today, four years later, Daya Singh and Haseena are both sober, leading normal lives. Daya Singh servse as an outreach worker with Sankalp and Haseena works as a hospital maid. The couple have ensured that their sons have also overcome their addictions. Both the sons were also rehabilitated at the Good Shepherd into the mainstream Recovery Home at and have dignified

out of his drug

improve and his mind and soul were refreshed. He was a stronger man and he felt a deep desire to be part of a family and take up an honest job. Daya Singh found employment with the very NGO that saved and improved Sankalp. His fate led him to meet another Haseena. client at Sankalp, had a his life

She had a troubled past, and two teenage sons

Pune which is being run by 5ankalp Director. They have been reintegrated jobs. The family income is meagre and they live in a rented place, but Daya Singh has found his piece of heaven in the little pleasures prepared of life. He proudly carries the 'dabba' by Haseena, to work. He has a family to call his

who were also involved with drugs. Her husband heavy drug user. solace and and Haseena encouragement In severe depression, in Daya Singh.

history of violence, a result of which she too became a Haseena found Finding great With a support decided

from each others' life stories, Daya Singh to fuse their lives together.

own and at long last he has found happiness.

Hep C, A cause for concern
Hepatitis C also known as HCV only got its name in 1989. 50 it was unheard of before 1989, it was called 'Non A, HIV and can 'stay alive' Non B'. It is much stronger than and Pegylation is a process already done with other drugs as well. So is the patent justified? Your guess is as good as mine. A recent testing of clients at Sank alp shows 43% positive with HCV. This is well below the figures for Injecting drug users which range from 70% to 90%. Even a Mumbai cohort tested in 2003 showed a prevalence of 80%. Although these figures by themselves are not indicative of any serious trend, we would like to believe that the HIV prevention efforts with our clients are paying di vidends. It is with this belief that we would urge the Government intensify and strengthen programmes attempted to to begin addressing outside the body for a longer time and that is the main reason why it spreads faster than HIV as well. Today there are an estimated 14 to 20 million people likely to be infected with HCV in the country and that is many times the figures for HIV, Yet. there is silence about this virus. The transmission of the virus is through the same routes as

HIV although in the case of HCV the infected needle route is many times more than the sexual route. And this is the main reason why Sankalp has to be concerned. The injecting drug user community combination. is the main group affected

prevention not only for HIV but also for HCV. When I first Harm Reduction in Manipur way back in 1992, to prevent HIV. Even with much, I toiled among those groups that it was not contributing about awareness it was with bleach distribution the knowledge on and it brought

and with the possible co-infection with HIV, it is a killer Just imagine that the battle with HIV is on process! In a panic, the individual only to find that it is Eight lac seventy two thousand and then one is told that a weak liver due to HCV is not helping the treatment completely wants to treat the HCV immediately out of reach.

who were importantto

the cause. So let us get together and

ring the alarm bells so that others will join and we have a movement going forward.

for a 48 week course? Everyone does not have land to sell or their wife's jewellery to mortgage like some patients in North East India. Those who manage the treatment the same access to treatment. And this high price is attributed which consists of Peg Interferon to the patents granted on and Ribavarin is costly are often left with a sense of guilt that their peers do not have

Eldred Tellis.

the key medicine without much thought. The treatment mainly due to the patents granted to Roche and Schering Plough on Peg Interferon. Pegy lation is a process by which the Interferon is coated with Polyethylene duration. adherence This reduces to treatment. the side glycol so that the there is a slow release and the drug acts for a longer effects, helping Interferon is a known substance

The Experience of a Lifetime
David Friedkin
Not a day goes by without my mind wandering to the time I spent at Sankalp. Whether it's my daily train commute from Khar Danda to Charni Road, sharing lunch every day with my coworkers, celebrating Holi and New Years with the clients, or just pulling up to my desk every morning to get some work done, it feels as though there was a needed help. He was able to call information and asked the operator for a drug rehab centre and, whether by luck or something more, he was connected with Eldred's mobile

phone. Slightly confused by the unknown number, Eldred picked up the phone to the desperate entreaties of his and

someone in need. Without hesitation and disregarding own plans, Eldred asked him where he was

learnable lesson in every moment. The poverty in Mumbai is the most dramatic bureaucracy everything and obvious I have ever seen, the frustrating, and the scale of

immediately

picked up this young man from the side of

is often is daunting,

the street and brought him to Sankalp. In the months that followed the client teetered between Sankalp's programs and relapse, but Eldred and Sankalp's staff never gave up; and they never do. Those tha t work with and for Sankal pare motivated by the need to do something significant, to make a difference for others and for themselves. Most of the time it is thankless work with formidable few immediate challenges, endless setbacks, and

but it was the seemingly

trivial

aspects of life that left the largest impressions. of the most important lesson can be summed

I think one up in one

word: Sankalp. A simple ideal, yet, its meaning is much more profound. work Resolve. It's a word organization; that portrays it describes donors, the the and

of a dynamic

commitment supporters; between dedication.

of its employees,

volunteers,

and, most importantly, and its clients.

it is the relationship It is the essence of

and obvious successes. Yet, Sankalp still amount of lives and to be a part of this

Sankalp

exists and has saved an innumerable relationships. organization I was lucky enough

and to contribute as best I could to Sankalp's

mission. I learned never to give up, despite the challenges. I learned from the clients to take life one step at a time and to expect the unexpected, because no one wakes up one but one can, in an

day and decides to be a drug-user,

instant, resolve to take the first step to recovery. In the summer of 2010 I was presented with the

opportunity

to move to India for one year and work for an a harm reduction drug-users. strategy in the Not only did I

NCO that implements rehabilitation

of street-based

have little idea what that meant, but I also never had any particular David with our Director and Counsellor at the Rehab centre At Sankalp, unwavering I learned commitment what it means to have an interest in India, drug-use, or HIV / AIDS.

Nevertheless,

the next thing I knew, I was embarking on a

two-day journey from San Francisco to spend 11 months in Mumbai. Did I expect for my time in India to be life-

to a goal and mission. I had the

privilege to work and learn from the founder and director of Sankalp, Eldred Tellis, a man that has dedicated his

changing? Not really. Did I expect to fit in with the life and culture of a place I knew nothing about? Absolutely not. But that is exactly what happened. present approach challenges Sankalp's a multitude of challenges, A day in Mumbai can but is the way you

whole life to embodying the motto of Sank alp. He truly is a "care giver for drug users and their families." He projects the value that every life matters and giving up is never an option. I remember sitting in the Charni Road office one

these challenges that defines who you are. The I experienced are incomparable to those of the

day and speaking with one of the clients. I listened intently as he recounted the story of how he got involved with

clients. Yet, they persevere

and maintain

hope, with the help of Sankalp, for a better life. I learned that in order to be happy I had to expect the unexpected and approach life one step at a time and one day at a time.

Sankalp. A near-death his drug-induced moment,

experience with a truck caused by call. In that

stupor was his wake-up

as death was but inches away, he realized he

India, my coworkers at Sankalp, my boss, and my Indian life have endowed me with an entirely new perspecti ve on life and an openness don't try something to pursue any opportunity. If you

of a lifetime had I decided against coming to India, just because I was scared of something different and

unexpected. And just like Sankalp's clients and staff, I rose above my fear and accepted the challenge, which just may have been the best decision of my life.

you never know what could have adds a valuable layer to your

been. Every experience

character and I could have missed out on the opportunity

Shifting - A Challenging Step
The Kurla Drop-in line suburbs. centre which was established three every year. Even at the moment we are paying out double the amount ofthe grant. Koliwada area. and Dharavi are big hubs of drug users and themselves in this of the drop in centre at years back, catered to drug users in the Central & Harbour The fact that we occupied the premise for the landlord who feared that This, inspite of the fact that we We are subjected to attitude on the part of landlords three long years disturbed we might not move out. this kind of suspicious drug peddlars too have established

By virtue of the proximity

were good and trouble- free tenants.

Sion, we will be able to reach out to many clients in this area and they too would be able to reach the drop in centre with ease. injecting We are happy to report that there are very of new the drug users many of whom are accessing positive signs in the slow but steady attendance Opiod Substitution Therapy (OST).

from time to time when we have to look for a place.

Screening of Ek Roz
The premier show of the film EK ROZ was held on 19th July 2011 at the Alliance Francaise auditorium. guest was Shri. Surender Kumar, IG, Prisons. Chairperson Lawyers Dr. (Mrs.) Saroj Jha was also present. Ms. Bhavika Badlani, The chief Sankalp's Some of from District

the other invitees present were Mr. Vijay Hiremath Collective, Manager, AVERT and Daisy Gangude expected. Many invitees who had

from Alert India. was not as their confirmed

Due to the inclement weather the attendance

presence were not able to reach the venue because of the heavy rains and breakdown in the transport system.

The actors did a wonderful job to bring home the message Shri Surender Kumar with Mr. Tellis and Advocate Vijay Hiremath at the launch of Ek Roz In addition, the grant provided by the Government of of how the law enforcement officers can help strengthen the resolve of the drug users to return to society. The role of Sankal p thru Harm Reduction and how it is intrinsically connected to drug users getting on the path to recovery is brought out beautifully and the DIG truly appreciated work of Sankalp rehabilitation the trust in Arthur Road Jail. as well

Rs.8,OOOj- an amount,

within which we have to rent a is highly

three room space to carry out our services, inadequate.

Another hurdle faced by us is that not many They fear that this

people are receptive to the idea of renting a place to an NGO offering services to drug users. move would increase the number of drug addicts in their locality and deem this as a threat to their very existence. Finally, after a persistent search, in August 2011 we have managed to locate a place near Sion Station. However, we are not sure if we will be allowed to oper ate from here for a period of three years. Due to the rising cost of the real is prone to increase the rent estate prices, the landlord

He was emphatic that similar work if started in Thane and Kalyan jail as well will help the prison authorities as incarcerated drug users. and answer session after the film queries from the audience Mr. Vijay Hiremath Eldred Tellis, from Director,

There was a question was Mr. Surendra Lawyers Collective

show. On the panel answering Kumar, and Mr.

Sankalp Rehabilitation Trust.

By Maisie D'Souza

Sankalp - a sub recipient of Global Fund round 9
Sankalp Rehabilitation Trust has been selected as a Goa the programme and the community. on risk behaviour After the training and settings that Learning Site for training Peer Educators and Gujarat among 13 learning The Global Fund Round 9 Grant. Peer Educators gained from are those drug users in the programme and experience the programme with other IDU s and offer who are keen to share the knowledge (PEs) in projects they will work in different capacities like: • facilitate discussions encourage it • disseminate basic facts on HIV / AIDS and other STls infections) (sexually transmitted for Injecting Drug Users in the states of Maharashtra, Sites across India under

• train peers in safer sex practices • identify those with STIs and motivate them to take early and complete treatment • motivate the rDUs to take the benefit of Drop-in-Centers, Sankalp residential Rehabilitation Trust had organised two 5 day 2011 and are has training programmes at Sahyog Social Canter,

them similar services. They may be current or ex-injecting drug users who exhibit the desire to work among peers; are local residents of their of project and area; have a good local the understanding goodwill language. of the drug use context of the area; have the peers knowledge of the during in the Needle

These PEs are mainly involved

Vas ai, Maharashtra scheduled

from 12th to 16th September

and Syringe programme daily outreach environment.

which is conducted

22nd to 26th September

2011. Ten such programmes

and which meets the 'clients; in their own

to be held the 3 states. The methodology

been to involve the participants behaviour and lead their peers

by using games and group are also able to improve

Under this grant they are trained to facilitate discussions on HIV / AIDS risk-taking in the examination of solutions and also the link between

work. The peers from different organisations to learn from each other and get motivated their skills.

By Dr. Surendra Yadav

SANKALP REHABILITATION TRUST
Administrative Office: 1st Floor, S S Bengali Municipal School, Thakurdwar Road, Chami Road (E), Mumbai - 400 002. Tel: (+091) 02265252685 E-mail: sankalp.trust@gmail.com Website: www.sankalptrust.org For Private Circulation only