Sunday, February 27, 2011

Girls come to join the Shafa Caravan

It was an honor and a feeling of great admiration as girls from the Aggrasen College for Women, Jhajjar, came to become a part of the Shafa Family on the 21st of February 2011. What was appreciable, was, that girls from the ordinary walk of life had the courage to take interest in something that still happens to be a taboo in the outer world.

They came a bit early than they were supposed to. Although the seating space was inappropriate (as we often don’t have visitors in such large numbers) the girls fitted themselves onto the chairs and sofa’s as though they were in their own home. Their day at Shafa started with Balbir Ji welcoming the delegates with a bouquet. Shipra Ji addressed the girls as to what Shafa is about and dos and don’ts at Shafa.

The real ice-breaking was done by the Piped Piper himself. I don’t know how Ranjan Ji does it, every time with everybody, especially girls, but he really made them open up and speak audaciously. They were then ushered into the Ashagraha where Shipra Ji, Sangeeta Ji and Hrishika Ji made the girls do another activity to make them open up even more. Now, they were ready to talk to the real people, the addicts taking treatment in Shafa.

They were divided into groups and each bunch was given a resident from Shafa family to talk to. They spoke to the addicts and identified the problems that brought them here. They also got to clear their doubts and myths about a de-addiction center. The boys were then made to sit together and the girls were given time to ask them any remaining questions.

Ranjan Ji, like a true teacher, made sure that the girls asked questions and that too relevant ones. Lastly, we had a group discussion downstairs where in it was a free for all session. Anybody could ask any question pertaining to any subject on the earth. By this time the girls from Aggrasen College were freaking out. The questions didn’t seem to end. However, it was time and Ranjan Ji winded things up with a vote of thanks.

Everybody had refreshments and the girls were ready for their journey back home with a new relation, a new impact and with a new meaning of a rehabilitation center in their minds quite contrary to the one they had come with in the morning. I wonder, would we now have more hands save a few more lives!!!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Your interest keeps us going…

We are having visitors on the 21st of February 18, 2011. Fifty college girls from Jajjhar showed their interest in our activities. This is a part of their sensitization towards social issues.

Today it was like when guests are expected in our homes. First came the planning part, assigning duties, making arrangements and shopping. Everything was done by the residents from junior to senior. Still a lot needs to be done, cleaning the whole house, getting things in order, who will do the welcome address, explaining activities of Shafa with their goal and objectives in mind etc.

Such events are encouraged at Shafa. Residents feel a sense of responsibility and feel re-united back to the society. This way they feel like they are giving it back. They convey their well-being and that they are one amongst all of us. Thereby, the perception about recovery addicts gets differently changed. They are viewed as a whole person.

Maybe one day, we have you as a visitor too…..we would welcome that.

Keep giving us your love.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Family Counseling and Meeting – 12th of February 2011

The third fortnightly Family Counseling and Meeting of the year was held on the 12th of February 2011 at the Delhi house of Shafa. Although the summers have started slinking in, it was sad to see such a few family members attending to the counseling. However, the small number of people gave the total affair a very cozy feel. People who would otherwise be back benchers and not talk much, spoke and discussed their problems.

Mrs. Khanna (alias) told other families how she discontinued coming to family counseling’s of Shafa and her husband, who was in recovery for the past ten years, relapsed.

Mrs. Sinha (alias) shared how her brother’s nature has totally changed during the past one and a half years of his association with Shafa. Mr. Sinha (alias) on the other hand was happy that his brother-in-law could now hold people responsible for their demeanors. The couple visited Shafa for the first time and was impressed with Shafa’s approach to the eradication of addiction.

Shipra Ji, started the talk with the topic – co-dependency, to which Ranjan Ji continued and shared his wise knowledge with us. We talked about how addiction engulfs not only the victim but the families as well.

Last but not the least, is a big question mark to the parents, wives, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters and other kith and kins of the remaining 88 residents staying in Shafa, who would never get treated without their family support.

The statistics of the family meetings and the phone calls are as follows:


Meetings - 03 Phone Calls - 02


Meetings - 03 Phone Calls - 04

The next Family Counseling and Meeting would be held on the 26th of February 2011.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

27th of January 2011 - The sad demise of Shri. M. L. Dhar

The whole world of Shafa came to a momentary abrupt halt as the evening of the 27th of January 2011 brought the news of the sad demise of Babuji (Shri M. L. Dhar), the President of the Shafa foundation and Shri Ranjan Dhar’s father. All of a sudden things changed.
Ranjan Ji said, “We don’t value things till we lose them. I lost my father on the 27th, and it was only then that I realized the void which was created by his abrupt demise.
My father, Babuji, as everyone used to call him with reverence, love and respect, was a karamyogi in true words. He served everyone with great humility and without ever discussing it. Hundreds got benefitted from his benevolent deeds. People from the farthest joined us in our mourning period. He would always forgive everyone for everything and advised us too to never talk bad about anyone, even about those who gave us any harm.
I personally learnt a lot from him, he was my strength, my ideal, he showed me the way and guided me through bad times. The most important thing which he taught me was patience. Today I really wish I could learn even more from him.
I am very closely associated with both my parents. When Babuji was lying in the hospital during his last journey, I really felt helpless. I wasn’t able to do much for him. I cried silently for him, my heart still cries for him. Even while writing this I feel the pang of pain inside me. But I know that my father has gone to meet the Ultimate Lord, the Supreme Father. May his soul rest in peace.”
Personally, since I met him, I never saw Ranjan Ji taken aback and distressed like this. Although I didn’t see him crying but I could feel the tears flowing within him.
There was a unique thing that I saw and would like to mention here. During the funeral, while Ranjan Ji sat silent, broken down and helpless by the pyre and I saw another Babuji in the making. I saw Shivi hugging Ranjan Ji as someday Ranjan Ji might have hugged his Babuji.
May God bless his noble and eternal soul - Shri M. L. Dhar (13th of September 1935 till 27th of January 2011)

Friday, February 11, 2011

4th of January 2011 Season’s First Recovery Birthday – Balbir Singh Ji

4th of January 2011 Shafa saw the season’s first recovery birthday and the 5th for Balbir Singh Ji. The elations started on the eve of his recovery birthday itself. Balbir Ji cut a delicious chocolate cake with the clock striking twelve and the family members danced gleefully to his favorite song Hat ja tau pache ne. It was a euphoric day for Balbir Ji with everybody wishing him the very best of the day. Ranjan Ji said “today you can say that you are in recovery and now you’ll have to strive hard to maintain it”. It was an all energetic day for Balbir Ji with the menu changed for the family all day long. The evening ended with Balbir Ji sharing the remarkable saga of his past 5 years of recovery in Shafa to which the family and the voluntary staff listened to with great awe.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Happy New Year – Shafa 2011

For Shafa, New Year has always been a time to unfold new horizons and realize new dreams, to rediscover the strength and faith within its members, to rejoice in simple pleasures and gear up for new challenges together. Shafa family celebrates every occasion and festivals together whether it's New Year, Valentine's Day, Republic Day, Diwali, Christmas Day or any other festival.

Shafa celebrated New Year's Eve in Kotdwar on 31st of December 2010. It was like every other night; there was no pause in the passage of time, no breathless moment of silence amongst the family members (dancing breathlessly to the music of the DJ) to make the passing away of the twelve months noted; and yet no member had quite the same thoughts that evening, which come with the darkness on every other night. The grand celebration was organized beautifully by the family and staff members of Shafa. Family members of residents taking their treatment were also invited and around 10 families joined us in the gala. The celebration began with various cultural activities performed by the inmates of Shafa, which included folk dance, solo dance performances, bhangra, role plays and fashion show. Everyone had a lavish dinner together and the families of the residents were suggested to move on to their chalet as it was pretty cold. However, they insisted to stay on and be there till it struck twelve. Celebrations ended up with the New Year coming in and everybody at Shafa Home, taking the resolution to lead a responsible and drug – free life. The overwhelming unison of the family members, the staff, and the families of the inmates comprehends the saying – I CANT, WE CAN!!!