|Aiding the addicted|
|BY A STAFF REPORTER | Monday, June 04, 2007 9:23:30 IST|
|Support NGO works for the betterment of street children who have fallen prey to narcotics|
After spending twenty years with Support- NGO, Managing Director, Sujata Ganega has written a book on the rehabilitation of street children. It took three years for Ganega to write the book, ‘FLUTE – Experiential Journey’. She has shared various experiences she went through. This book is expected to act as a guide to the other NGOs, working for a similar cause. She feels space is the biggest challenge.
Support is a voluntary NGO registered as a Charitable Trust in Mumbai in 1985. It
started by working with college students on the issue of drug abuse among the students. Thereafter, the focus changed to the street populace. It has now been actively working with street children and homeless youth in the field of drug addiction since 1992. The organisation is managed by a board of Trustees with the day-to-day activities managed by the Executive Director and the staff.
The NGO aims to eradicate substance abuse among street children and homeless youth to prevent high-risk behaviour. The NGO’s mission is to encourage homeless youth to give up their drug habit and reduce risk behaviour through a process of detoxification, rehabilitation and mainstreaming.
The rehabilitation programme for child drug users commenced in the year 1993, with five children in a small room given by the State Government. Going by the success of the programme, the BMC offered it a place at Vakola, Santacruz (East), Mumbai. The rehabilitation centre was shifted here in 1997 and ever since the first batch of fifteen children, the residential rehabilitation centre has successfully run the programme for hundreds of children.
The place also has a residential rehabilitation centre for boys and one residential vocational training center for boys at Mumbai. They have a separate residential rehabilitation centre for girls. Support currently houses approximately hundred boys and thirty girls in the age range 6 to 18 years undergoing detoxification or rehabilitation at the residential centers in Mumbai. The vocational training centre currently has around 30 boys undergoing welding, carpentry, screen-
printing and masonry work training. That is, total of 160 children under their care. Approximately 80 children go to school from the residential centres. Around 30 volunteers work in this NGO including few of the rehabilitated children.
“The book — ‘FLUTE’ is totally based on my experience through life,” said Sujata. Talking about the main cause, Sujata said, “The drug addiction habit is spreading because the bad company.
If one of the street children is habitual in a group of street children then the rest of the group follows him.”