Diwali, the grand Indian festival of lights, was ushered in by Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Ltd (IL&FS), at a unique celebration held at its offices in Mumbai. Kripa Foundation was invited to participate in these festivities, held in a ‘mela’ ( village fair) like ambience, to create a general awareness about the NGO’s pioneering activities in the field of helping drug and alcohol addicts recover from their vices and assisting HIV/AIDS victims, along with other marginalized sections of the society.
The corporate Diwali celebration, held at IL & FS headquarters at the Bandra-Kurla Complex featured, among other attractions, a Henna (mehndi) art stall, ‘Rangoli’ ( art of making designs using colored marble dust on floors) and a ‘Kathputli (Indian traditional puppets) show. Invitees and guests were treated to a sumptuous Diwali feast.
A five-member team from Kripa Bandra, led by Brett Rodricks and four recovering addicts participated in these celebrations, with a stall at the venue. Kripa volunteers educated IL&FS employees, their families and guests about the hazards of drug and alcohol abuse and how to avoid falling prey to these deadly vices. They also detailed the Kripa Model, which focuses on a three-dimensional- physical, mental and spiritual-recovery of addicts, through a PowerPoint presentation. Volunteers helped dispel various myths about HIV and AIDS, especially over methods of HIV contagion. The team spoke of their personal experiences in combating addiction.
In line with assisting marginalized sections of the society, Brett and his team offered for sale, earthen Diwali lamps, hand crafted and skillfully decorated by residents of Kripa’s Dharavi Street Children Project and gift envelopes made by patients at Kripa’s rehabilitation center in Bandra (West), as well as other merchandise aimed at spreading awareness against substance abuse. “IL & FS is pleased that Kripa Foundation educated our staff and visitors, most of whom are young and parents, against the evils of substance abuse and common myths about HIV and AIDS. Kripa’s presence helped us give an educational angle to these celebrations. We are confident that awareness and knowledge shared by the Kripa team will help our beloved ones stay off substance abuse,” said Kajal Sadhnani, spokeswoman, IL &FS.
“We were overwhelmed by the response from visitors to the Kripa stall and are happy we were able to create awareness against substance abuse, HIV/ AIDS and their preventions.” said Brett, adding Kripa Foundation is grateful to IL & FS for inviting the organization to participate in the day-long event.