The word ‘Kripa’ in Sanskrit means ‘Grace’ and it is such an apt word because recovering drug addicts/ alcoholics know that if it weren’t for the grace of God they would not be where they are today.
The Kripa Foundation is a non governmental organization which had its humble beginnings at Mount Carmel church, Bandra, Mumbai in 1981 with 3 resident patients. In just two decades it has grown to become the largest non governmental organization in India, working in the field of substance abuse and HIV/AIDS.
This charitable organization has 32 facilities in 12 locations spread all over the country in addition to its international centers in Canada and Germany. Addiction has been termed a ‘disease’ by W.H.O. and there are many factors which go into making one an addict, it could be biological, situational or even circumstantial is what people in the know had to say.
At the behest of the Naga Mother’s Association, Kripa Foundation ventured into Nagaland in 1989, and is today under the aegis of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India. The primary objective of the Foundation is to bring recovery to substance abusers, provide care and support for people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA), prevention and control of substance abuse, STD and HIV/AIDS. Since its inception Kripa Foundation Nagaland, has led thousands of addicts/alcoholics on the road to recovery. Apart from other projects, it runs 5 drop in centers (DIC) where they provide free counseling for active users, syringe exchange programme and free distribution of condoms. “Although the distribution of condoms is a sensitive issue and some people feel strongly about it, we cannot ignore the fact that teen pregnancies are on the rise and the spread of HIV/AIDS is reaching unprecedented levels” is what Dr. Joyce, Director, Kripa Foundation had to say. As of now it feels as if both parties have agreed to disagree.
The aforementioned drop in centers began in the year 2000 and till date more than 130 active users have gone clean and hundreds have benefited from these drop in centers. These drop in centers employ about 50 people whose lives have been affected directly or indirectly by drugs. These centers have recreational facilities and an atmosphere that is conducive for recovery.
They also run a rehabilitation center for Alcoholics and drug addicts at ‘D’Block, Kohima where the approach is ‘holistic’ in nature. This in effect means physical, mental, spiritual and emotional needs are delved into in an atmosphere that is conducive for recovery. Here an addict/alcoholic finds empathy because all counselors are recovering people themselves. They are taught to introspect and see the damage they have caused to themselves, to their families and to the society at large. This is difficult initially but once they are through it helps them to leave their past behind and start life anew.
Addicts/alcoholics are a misunderstood lot; therefore the foundation has a weekly meeting for families called ‘Family Anonymous’ where they are made to understand the disease concept, where families share and that is how the process of healing begins. A relationship is always a two way street and it is imperative that both parties understand each other, and that is what the foundation tries to bridge. Although addiction is a relapse able disease hundreds of people who have gone through the programme are today leading normal lives and contributing to the society.
The foundation is a beacon of hope for addicts and alcoholics who have been stigmatized and misunderstood by the society. Recovering addicts/alcoholics who have benefited from the project have proven that the old lie ‘once an addict always an addict’ is dead.
Addicts do recover.
For more information on HIV/AIDS and Addiction, contact: (0370) 2290227, 1097(Toll Free)