From 25th to 27th February 2013, Koshish (a TISS project) and NISD organized a 3 day residential workshop for the officials of Department of Women and Child Development, Maharashtra (Ministry of Women and Child Development), Government of India. These officials work with children, women and Beggary institutions. The theme for the workshop was 'Rehabilitation' and it aimed to discuss and deliberate various aspects of rehabilitation in the context of custodial populations.
Kripa Mumbai was invited to conduct sessions on ‘Deaddiction – Issues and Challenges faced in Rehabilitation' and for a panel discussion on 'Issues and Challenges'. The resource person highlighted the fact that one of the biggest challenges faced in rehabilitation of the custodial population and otherwise is social stigma and discrimination. As addiction is a widely misunderstood disease, the people afflicted by it face extreme stigma, during their active addiction and even during recovery. Addicts who also have other discrediting problems attached to them like 'homelessness', 'poverty', 'being a minority', living with HIV/AIDS, or being a woman etc, are faced with even more stigma. The possible ways to address the challenges one face while dealing with addicts and treating them is to have appropriate referral systems established for the treatment of addiction and to exhibit a more tolerant and understanding attitude towards this population.
Speakers and workers from other areas of work were also invited for the same, like authorities working with elderly, prisoners etc.
The session was well-appreciated by the officials, as most were not aware of the 'disease concept' and the fact that timely and effective treatment could be beneficial. Kripa Foundation helpline numbers were disseminated to the audience.
Ms. Krishna Iyer
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