Techies empower slum-dwellers to kick the booze

— DNA
Pune
India

​CybageAasha sets up de-addiction centre in Kharadi, Pune; approached by 15 alcoholics 

The family of 40-year-old labourer Gajanan Padghamkar heaved a sigh of relief after he finally decided not to drink ever again. Gajanan is one of the eight addicts whose lives were transformed after a group of Cybage employees helped them get rid of the addiction. 

Kudos to these employees of Cybage, an information technology (IT) firm, that transformed the lives of such people. The employees identified such families in which the main family member was addicted to drinking and with counselling and medical aid, made them abstain from alcohol.
Some 70 like-minded employees of the company, who think they should do something for society, have created a group called CybageAsha. “Our group visited slums in Kharadi area and while speaking to the women and children there, we found there are several men who are badly addicted to drinking,” said Pushpa Darekar, an active member of the group. 

Several women told them that their husbands spent most of their salaries on drinking and it had become difficult for them to manage the families. 

“We then decided to do something about this and with the help of doctors who have been working for de-addiction, started our first de-addiction centre at Khulewadi in Kharadi,” she said. 

A total of 15 addicts are undergoing treatment at the de-addiction centre. 

The employees persuaded the families of the worst addicts to bring them to the centre. 

They organised skits to create awareness among the slum-dwellers. 

Another Cybage employee, Anand Chavan said initially it was difficult to bring the people to the centre, but their efforts to create awareness started working. “With regular follow-ups and counselling by volunteers and doctors, this centre has managed to persuade many alcohol addicts to give up addiction. Presently, there are 15 alcohol addicts, out of which eight are regular patients and have been treated completely,” said Chavan. 

Speaking about his experience at the de-addiction centre, Padghamkar said, “I work as a painter at a nearby construction site on daily wages. Prior to the treatment, I used to dink every day. Due to my habit, my family suffered a lot. I could not pay for my children’s education and also insulted my wife. But after the treatment and family support, I have absolutely stopped drinking and now I pledge not to even touch alcohol in the future.” 

Another former addict, Dhasharath Karambe, told dna, “For the last few months, I have not touched alcohol and this was possible just because of the de-addiction centre.” “When I used to consume alcohol, my family tried to persuade me, but I was addicted to alcohol badly, but now after treatment, I have abstained from alcohol for ever,” he said. 

The employees felicitated all those who had given up alcohol to encourage them.