Wednesday, November 30, 2011


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Friday, November 25, 2011

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI)- felicitates Fr. Joe.

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At the National Convention for CA students " BREAKING THE HABIT" held in Mumbai on the 25th of November 2011, Fr Joe was felicitated by Mr. S.Y Joshi Chairman of WIRC- ICAI. in the presence of over 500 students. delegates and office bearers of ICAI and WIRC and CA students Representatives.

CA S.Y. Joshi Chairman WIRC, welcomed Fr. Joe and mentioned that ICAI was proud to be associated with Kripa Foundation in spreading the awareness of addiction to the college students doing Chartered Accountancy. Mr. Joshi later falicitated Fr. Joe on behalf of WIRC-ICAI

In his address to the students Fr Joe explained how, the student sector of society were close to his heart, as they were the future of our country, and it was important for them to know the ill effects of addiction. He was happy to be associated with ICAI in spreading the message of awareness, on the harmfull effects of addiction in colleges.

CA Shradul Shah, Secretary WIRC, in his vote of thanks, explained to the students of the tie-up with Kripa,to have awareness programs in different colleges selected by WIRC.. These programs in colleges would commence immediately. A short video clip of Fr. Joe's work was screened at the auditorium.

News Desk

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Mr.Salman Khan inaugurates bus donated by Celebrate Bandra Trust to Kripa Foundation,Mumbai

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Mr. Salman Khan the famous actor of Bollywood today inaugurated the bus given to Kripa Foundation by Celebrate Bandra trust. Earlier Fr. William Athaide the Parish priest of Mount Carmel Church, Bandra, blessed the bus in the the presence of Dignitaries, Trustees of Celebrate Bandra Trust, staff , clients and well wishers of Kripa Foundation. It was a delight to see the priest team of the parish at the function.

Mr Khan after inaugurating the bus mingled with the patient and in his speech spoke about the harmful effects of alcohol and drugs and mentioned how he too had some time in his life experienced its ill effects. The clients were very touched by his simplicity and his caring nature for them. Ms. Patricia Nath Trustee of Celebrate Bandra Trust mentioned that the bus donated could be used for a good cause in transporting the students to and fro schools and colleges to visit Kripa and could also be used for awareness programs, so as the future generation in and around Bandra could lead a drug and alcohol free life.

Fr. Joe signed the documents of handing over of the bus to Kripa along with Ms.Patricia Nath and Mr Arjun Chhabria Trustees of Celebrate Bandra Trust.

In his speech, Fr. Joe thanked the trustees of Celebrate Bandra Trust and mentioned that this bus would be used to the fullest in reaching out and educating the students from schools and colleges on the harmful effects of addiction and addiction related diseases like HIV/AIDS.

In his vote of thanks, Fr. Joe thanked each and every one gathered, for coming and gracing the occasion, including the press.

Refreshments and tea was served to the guest which was well organized by the staff and clients of Kripa Bandra. The program ended with singing of the National Anthem.

News Desk

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Kripa Outreach in Miday Paper-Mumbai

BEAT THE BOTTLE Alcoholism, a garage sale and citizen candidates. Three diverse topics, seemingly unconnected are bound by a common thread. They all involve people coming to the fore to contribute to society in small but significant ways


Recovering alcoholics including a priest, an ex- Merchant Navy captain and a former bartender talk about addiction

I’m Father Seraphinus Ekka, and I am an alcoholic,” confessed this 48- year- old priest in front of some 60- odd people, who had gathered to attend a seminar on the theme, ‘ Alcohol: A Bane To Workers’ over the weekend. Ekka and many like him have been battling the bottle for years now.

While many have fallen prey to alcohol addiction, others have managed to beat the bottle by joining rehabilitation centres and other self- help groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous ( AA).

At an event organised by the Christian Workers’ Movement of Archdiocese of Bombay in association with Kripa Foundation, a non- profit organisation that rehabilitates drug addicts and alcoholics, a motley group of people had gathered at the Joseph Cardijn Technical School in Dadar ( E), to discuss various issues related to alcoholism. Said Father Joe Pereira, Founder and Managing Trustee of Kripa Foundation, “ Alcoholism is a disease, it is not a disorder. It is also known as a disease of relapse.

Addiction to alcohol not only affects the physical heath of the person, it also affects the health of the mind and the health of the soul.” As Pereira puts it, the first step towards recovery should be accepting the fact that one is an alcoholic. “ Only after one admits that he/ she is helpless in front of the bottle can the cleansing process start. Alcohol addiction is a form of disability and one has to learn to deal with it,” added Pereira. Agrees Ekka, who worked as a police inspector for two years in Lucknow before joining priesthood at the age of 25. “ There was drinking problem in my family so, I believe that my drinking habit is pretty much inherited and lies in my family.

Strangely, while working as a police inspector, I never touched alcohol. But as soon as I was ordained as a priest, I started drinking,” said Ekka, who was the principal of a college in Lucknow. Ekka’s drinking habit caught the attention of the parish where he was residing. “ I was transferred to another parish but nothing happened. I kept drinking. I hid bottles in my room to drink. I indulged in binge drinking. So for a week or so, I just kept drinking until my body could take it no longer. I was a priest and there was so much remorse that I did not have courage to face the Almighty,” said Ekka, currently based in Mumbai. After attending various rehab programs in Mangalore and in Mumbai, Ekka has been sober for almost two years now.

“ Helping addicts is now my mission.

That is the purpose of my life,” he said.

Problem Stephen Monteiro, a former captain in the Merchant Navy initially refused to come to terms with his addiction problem. “ I was in the merchant navy for 25 years. It all started at my workplace.

Every promotion was celebrated with drinks. Every evening, I would wait for the drinks to be served. But I did not become a drunkard then. I knew my responsibilities as a captain.

There was a fear of losing my job.

Hence, I would drink in moderation,” said Monteiro from Mazgaon. He got hooked to alcohol, when he came home for a few months. “ At home there was no restriction. I started with weekend drinking sessions. Then it came down to weekdays… then after dinner everyday… then dinner and lunch… then breakfast, dinner and lunch. Soon I needed alcohol for everything. If I was happy, I would drink. If I was sad, I would drink. Reason or no reason, I wanted alcohol. Things came to such a pass that I would keep a bottle below my bed. I would get up in the middle of the night and start drinking. When there would be no alcohol left at home, I would run to a nearby bar at 5: 30 am and ask the shopkeeper to pour me a drink. I remember a time, when I did not have enough energy, to even lift the glass. I begged the shopkeeper to pour the drink down my throat,” said a frail Monteiro. He joined Kripa foundation for a 90 day rehab course seven years ago. Since then, he has been sober and is currently working as a Centre Manager for Kripa Foundation in Bandra. What happens when he sees alcohol now? “ Oh, my mouth still waters,” he said.

Family Another speaker who narrated his story during the event was Bosco D’Souza from Bandra ( W).

D’Souza started working in a bar of a five- star hotel in Mumbai at the age of 17. “ I wanted to taste the liquor of the world. After I quit my job at the hotel, I joined a construction company. My job there was to entertain guests. I started drinking officially. Even before I realised, I turned into an alcoholic. My children, my wife, my parents, all of them suffered silently along with me,” said D’Souza. It was D’Souza’s sister who approached Kripa and got him enrolled for a rehab program.

“ I have been associated with Kripa for 19 years . As an addict, I have been through hell and I know what an alcoholic goes through,” said D’Souza, who now organises seminars for addicts and their families and informs them about alcoholism.

Help Since there are chances for alcoholics to relapse, a rehab program is not a permanent solution.

“ One should join a group like AA. From such groups, one should choose a ‘ sponsor’. A sponsor is a person, who will be there for you throughout your recovery process. You can call him any time of the day and share your problems. If you want to have a drink, you should immediately call up your sponsor and tell him about your craving.

He will keep you on the straight and narrow,” said D’Souza.

Alcohol addiction is also a growing problem especially among college students. “ Children as young as 16 come to rehab centres.

But, mostly it is the unemployed youth who fall prey to this ‘ disease’,” said D’Souza.

There could be several factors that can trigger addiction, at times there can be no reason at all. “ Just the fact that alcohol is easily available is the reason for addiction,” said D’Souza.

At the beginning of the seminar, Pereira had made a profound statement, “ Nobody understands the pain of an alcoholic and that’s why we’re here.” At the end of the event, the audience could not agree more with him.

Sudeshna Chowdhury
Mid Day
17th November 2011
(As appeared in Miday E paper)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Fr Joe conducts a seminar for Christian Workers Movement - Titled- "Alcohol -A Bane to Workers"

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A days seminar titled Alcohol- A Bane ot workers was conducted by Fr Joe and his team at Joseph Cardijn Technical School, Dadar Mumbai. The program commenced with the Eucharistic Celebration by Fr Joe and co-celebrant Fr. Seraphine. In his Key note address Fr. Joe spoke of the ill effects of alcohol and chemical dependency and how Kripa could help the Christian Workers Movement by reaching out to those suffering from addiction all over the country,as Kripa has its presence in many Archdioceses of India. The well attended audience which consisted of workers from many parishes from Mumbai and Pune listened attentively as Fr. Joe connected the teaching of St. Mathew and St.Paul with his work in Kripa, supported by the 12 steps of Alcoholic Anonymous (AA), and GSO of Alcoholic Anonymous in reaching out to the marginalised.( Fr Joe is also a Trustee of AA India.)
The other speakers at the seminar were Fr Seraphine, Mr. Stephen Monterio & Mr. Bosco D'Souza on topics of the 12 step program of AA , the spiritual dimension of the program with life story sharing of recoveries from addiction.

Mr. Cajetan D'Souza, Archdiocesan Secretary, Christian Workers Movement in his vote of thanks, mentioned and thanked Fr Joe and his team for their valuable inputs and precious time.The feedback of participant was that there should be many more such informative programs in all parishes in the Archdiocese of Mumbai.

The seminar ended with a sumptous lunch.

News Desk

Friday, November 11, 2011

Friday, November 4, 2011

Kripa's Presence at the FINGODAP Conference-Chandigarh

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Kripa's presence at the 6th National conference of FINGODAP was in large numbers with staff from North East to Mumbai.

Dr Anand Choudhury, Dr Menon and Dr Nouli presented PPT's of various subjects. A PPT by Bosco too was read out by Dr Menon.

Dr Menon and Dr Nouli were elected Executive Directors of FINGODAP. Various topics of NGO's were discussed and many new initiatives taken.

The non presence of Fr Joe was felt very much and even the Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment Shri Mukul Wasnik mentioned this.
The event was well organised and much applause to Dr Rajesh and Dr Zeenat of SYPM- Delhi the host of the Convention.

News Desk