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Kolkata Police give new lease of life to drug addicts

Nishat Nizami | Kolkata |

From dark corners and gloomy bylanes to days full of life, the drug addicts of the city are experiencing the taste of a good life under the canopy of “Shuddhi” project, an initiative by the narcotics department of the Kolkata Police.

In all, 14 drug addicts were taken on a day out yesterday under the supervision of the narcotics officers. “The day out included eco-tourism at Eco Park, followed by a visit to the Mother Wax Museum at Newtown,” said a senior official of narcotics department.

The taste of drugs was replaced by some delicious flavours of appetising food with a good lunch at a restaurant. “Finally, the movie, Udta Punjab, was screened at Body Guard Lines auditorium to provide them with some mental refreshment and also to make them aware of the evils of drug addiction,” added the officer.

Elaborating further on the process, the officer informed that a large number of petty criminals indulge in crimes due to addiction of contraband drugs. The rehabilitation programme started in January 2018 with 31 persons, including drug addicts and petty criminals, selected by local police stations.

On undergoing rigorous rehabilitation in three rehabilitation centres for about two months, 14 persons who had crossed the withdrawal symptoms and did not wish to return to addiction, have been selected for the next stage of “Shuddhi” project which also includes a training in their field of interest.

The total duration of rehabilitation process is normally of six months, which could be extended for one or two months depending upon the individual addict.

According to the reports of the narcotics department, all the 14 members have family and houses but got strayed from the mainstream society due to poor background, lack of care from family members and adequate number of touts who take advantage of these vulnerable addicts in establishing their business.

Meanwhile, talking to The Statesman, Mr Subarata Basak, officer-in-charge of the narcotics department said, out of 14, about seven to eight persons are said to be involved in petty crimes of theft and burglary.

“By enhancing their skills, improvising their talents and accordingly providing recruitment, the project is focused to provide another chance to such people and to give them an opportunity of leading a normal life,” added Mr Basak.