Those who have overcome hurdles are perhaps the best guides for others who are still trying. This has been the guiding principle of Pune-based Muktangan Mitra, an organization that works for the welfare of people with various kinds of addictions. Run almost entirely by recovered addicts, the organization's addiction treatment programme evolved organically, taking inspiration from Gandhi's ashram. Over the years, Muktangan has expanded its work, set up a rehabilitation centre for men with a ward for women, and trained other centres in western India.
After it appeared on the show, Muktangan Mitra received help from various quarters, in particular, the corporate world. For example, Symantec Corporation, a computer software company in the U.S.A., helped to make the Muktangan campus eco-friendly. Its corporate social responsibility wing partly funded work on the rehabilitation centre's solar water heating and lighting systems and its rainwater harvesting project.
The funds raised through the show helped the organization buy a space which will house a training centre and accommodate 50 individuals. Here, training will be provided to the staff of rehabilitation centres from western India that are funded by the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment. Also, vocational training will be offered in professions like housekeeping, cooking, welding, nursing, computers, mobile repair, etc. Currently in the final stages of completion, the centre is likely to open in early 2014.
Overcoming addiction involves not only freeing oneself from a physical dependency, but also from psychological bondage. One person who has achieved this is Mr Datta Shirkhande, who works as a co-ordinator with the Muktangan Rehabilitation Centre. Recently, he was invited to participate in the MasterChef India 3 TV programme. Mr Shirkhande's story of success is only one among scores of others. His newfound popularity, it must be remembered, finds its roots in years of brave struggle.
About Muktangan Mitra
Founded on August 29, 1986, by Dr Anil Awachat and the late Dr Anita Awachat, Muktangan Mitra began with the aim of creating an addiction-free society. Since then, it has been working for the treatment and rehabilitation of substance users and individuals with various kinds of addictions.
Over the years, the organization has developed an addiction treatment programme that has a strong foundation in the cultural legacies of India. Muktangan adopts a multidisciplinary approach towards treatment and its five-week rehabilitation programme involves individual and group counselling, family therapy, music and arts-based therapy, work therapy and yoga. Along with treating addictions, the organization also provides vocational training and helps individuals with social rehabilitation.
The Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Government of India, has appointed Muktangan Mitra as the regional resource training centre for five states in western India. The organization looks after the training of 97 rehabilitation centres.