Saturday, March 17, 2012

Virtual Reality - Opening the Gates of Shafa Home

What is the magic?? How does one get treated of addiction?? What happens on the carpet?? What is this programme?? Do they beat up my kid?? Does he behave properly inside?? Do they give him medicines?? Is he allowed to smoke?? Do the counselors lie that my son dances every Saturday?? Do the counselors lie that my father plays Holi and celebrates Diwali?? How does the Therapeutic environment work?? How do I ensure my brother would not run away from the centre??

If I sit down and start asking you, there would be a thousand many questions and doubts running through your mind concurrently. And I acknowledge your suspicions looking at the sorry state of TC’s and Rehabilitation Centers in India. I was just talking to my parents the other day and was asking them what made them choose Shafa Home, because they had quite a many options to choose from. Their answer was ‘transparency’. Although transparency for them was just the feedback they used to get from the counselors, however, deep down in their hearts they were ambiguous about my situation and recovery. My father said “I had never thought that you would come out and not drink”. They were just banking upon sheer luck and the expertise of the Shafa Home Faculty.

Till I had made it to 6 months my parents had only a superficial belief in Shafa like most first timers, always wondering what happens on the other side. They used to call up several times and ask as to what I was doing, what I was eating, how I was sleeping and all sorts. They used to come once two days before the meeting and then early on the day of the meeting just to be sure of things. They used to stand outside and steal a look at the terrace to see if I could be seen. They used to look at the stage chart in the ‘Ashagraha’ and find my name there and wonder when would I top the chart. They used to proudly show my name on the ‘Best Member Name Plate’ to other family members. They used to constantly fight their paradigm and say all is well. In spite of the re assurances give by the Counsellors and Staff at Shafa, they always had this thin line of doubt as to what happens beyond Ashagraha.

I completed treatment and entered the transition phase, and am still moving on positively for the past around three years, however, my parents still have this quest, as to what happens inside the four walls of the Shafa Home, that keeps me moving on.

After I became a staff at Shafa, me and Ranjan Ji decided to start this blog and reduce the distance between the in and out of Shafa Home. We started showing what was happening at the other side of the line. We started writing to let people know the recovery recipes of Shafa. We started showing our viewers the amazing world of Shafa. The interaction between Shafa Home and Family members began to grow. We had walked past the conventional methods of getting in touch with the outer world. We had started sending messages for Family Meetings, Holi, Diwali etc. We had started sending blog links on mobiles. A facebook account was made to get into social networking. Pictures were being uploaded to let the world see us through the internet.

It was time and I moved on to more complex things in life like job and family etc. There came a new set of recovery addicts working as volunteers who took the responsibility of taking Shafa Home to the next level....the level of Virtual Reality.

I was sitting at home the day before and was working on the internet and suddenly came across some videos which were shot by the recovery addicts of Shafa and were uploaded on the youtube. These videos were the virtual reality of the much sought after question: WHAT HAPPENS INSIDE SHAFA HOME?? There were videos of the residents dancing, there were videos of the residents playing ‘Gaddhe wali Holi’ in Kotdwar, there were videos of residents doing yoga, there were videos of the success stories of recovery addicts. It made me sit and think for a while and be proud that these recovery addicts may have been useless people at some point in their life but today they are bridging the gap between the two worlds.

This article comes in as a note of appreciation to all those people, all those proud recovery addicts who have put in their share in purpose to bring Shafa to such a level of virtual reality and transparency. I also request all the people who follow us on our website, facebook, blog and twitter to go ahead and mark their comments on the work we are doing, so as to enable us to keep up the good work.

And for all those of you who are curious to know WHAT HAPPENS INSIDE SHAFA HOME?? Go home, surf the net, catch the videos on youtube, find the pics on facebook, read the articles on blog and follow us on twitter!!

Signing off for now 

Arijeet – Ek Sudharta Hua Nashebaz        

No comments:

Post a Comment