Youths in Maharashtra overcomes addictions
According to Hindu Mythology, during Amrit Manthan one of the 14 jewels that the ocean delivered was Varuni – The Goddess of Wine. Also smoking of Cannabis is known in India since 2000 B.C. Thus the use of alcohol and other such agents is not new in our country. According to the statistics, nearly 15% of individuals who try alcohol develop a dependency to it and become alcoholics. It is not just a health problem, it is a social and public health problem becoming one of the gravest public issues which plagues the society as a whole.
The major categories of drugs include – alcohol, nicotine, tobacco, depressants like barbiturates and benzodiazepines, stimulants like amphetamines and cocaine, marijuana as well as opioids like morphine, heroin and methadone. The main factors of such kind of addictions are peer pressure, poverty, impulsivity, relationship problems, family problems, poor coping skills and so on. Senior The Art of Living teacher of Prana course, Venkatesh Manglaram shares, “that most of the people attending the course move towards such drugs thinking that consumption of the same might provide them some solution or relief or help them in forgetting their problems.”When asked that why is he motivated to do such kind of work he had a very touching answer that, “when someone drinks alcohol or takes drugs and becomes dependent on it; their family suffers; the surrounding suffers and it overall affects the society. Since I am a part of the society I feel responsible for the same.”
Venkatesh Manglaram along with Nitin Pradhan and Ganshyam Gohile have carried out 23 Prana courses together and have successfully benefited around 330 people in the region of Vidharbha. The Prana course emphasises on complete de-addiction and is carried out with an holistic approach. It is a combination of physical, psychological, emotional, social and spiritual practices such as yoga, meditation and kriya. It is found that 80% of the people who completed the Prana course remained in recovery. This is a phenomenal success for us since it’s difficult for the people to give up alcohol who have become addicted to it.
Addiction comes along with a set of problems such as fights, loss of trust, isolation in society, separation to name a few. According to Venkatesh Manglaram the challenging part of this course is to convince the participants since they have the tendency of changing their minds a lot. Till the very last minute of registration it becomes difficult to tell whether the person is going to attend the course or not. But once they complete the course the results they and their families experience are tremendous. One of such participants was Mr. Shrirang Jagtap, a resident of Amravati who happened to be a civil engineer was completely gone in the hands of alcohol. He had tried various de-addiction course in many places and had been to many rehabilitation centres but was not satisfied with the results as he ended up relapsing. He attended the prank course and it has been more than two and a half years that he is living happily without consuming alcohol. Another such participant was Amol, a bus conductor in Yavatmal. He had started taking alcohol due to family problems, he ended up being sustained from his job due to his excessive consumption. The course has benefitted him in such a way that currently he is without alcohol for more than one and a half years now.
The duration of the course is such that the participants and the teachers share a very good relation with each other. They contact the teachers whenever they feel like talking with them. Also once the course gets over, regular follow ups are ensured with the help of residential teachers which are present in the areas where the participants are located. The participants get in contact with the teachers and attend daily satsangs and follow up sessions. This helps them in continuing a clean and serene lifestyle.
Venkatesh Manglaram further states that Education is the best way to deal with this issue and it is important to educate people in order to prevent addiction to alcohol and other harmful drugs. By building awareness amongst the people can we can definitely reduce the intensity of this problem. Moreover, it is upto the society to take it’s destiny and say No to Alcohol.
– Aditi Nalawade