Friday, August 30, 2013

Fr. Joe felicitated at the biggest Dahi Handi Festival in Vasai Virar- India

Krishna Janmashtami also known as Krishnashtami, Saatam Aatham, Gokulashtami,Ashtami Rohini, Srikrishna Jayanti, Sree Jayanti or sometimes merely as Janmashtami, is an annual commemoration of the birth of the Hindu deity Krishna, which is celebrated all over India.
The festival is celebrated on the eighth day (Ashtami) of the Krishna Paksha (dark fortnight) of the month of Bhadrapada (August–September; However, in both traditions it is the same day. So, we have works like Vishnudharmottara Purana saying Krishna Ashtami is in the Bhadrapada month and Skanda Purana stating that it falls in the month of Shravana) in the Hindu calendar. Rasa lila, dramatic enactments of the life of Krishna, are a special feature in regions of Mathura and Vrindavan, and regions following Vaishnavism in Manipur.[2] While the Rasa lila re-creates the flirtatious aspects of Krishna's youthful days, the Dahi Handi celebrate God's playful and mischievous side,
Janmaashtami/ Gokulashtami ( Marathi- गोकुळाष्टमी ), popularly known in Mumbai and Pune as Dahi Handi, is celebrated with enormous zeal and enthusiasm. The handi is a clay pot filled with buttermilk that is positioned at a convenient height prior to the event. The topmost person on the human pyramid tries to break the handi by hitting it with a blunt object. When the handi breaks, the buttermilk is spilled over the entire group, symbolizing their achievement through unity. Handis are set up around the city, and groups of youngsters –called Govinda Pathaks – travel around in trucks trying to break as many handis as possible during the day.
Many – such Govinda Pathaks – compete with each other, especially for the handis that dole out hefty rewards. The event, in recent times, has gathered a political flavor, and it is common for political parties and rich community groups to offer prizes amounting to lakhs of rupees.
At one such event of dahi handi utsav in Vasai, the largest Dahi Handi Mandals which attracts more than 55 groups of Govindas including a women govinda, Fr. Joe H Pereira Founder Managing Trustee was felicitated for the good work that Kripa was doing in the region of Vasai- Virar to curb  Addiction and HIV. MLA Kshitiji Thakur, Mayor Narayan L. Mankar, Deputy Mayor Raut , First mayor Raju Patil along with Mr. Sanjay Jhadhav   jointly felicitated  Fr Joe. In his address to more than 25 thousand people, Fr. Joe   Said that just like Christmas for Christians,  it was Christmas for Hindus as it was the birth of  Lord Krishna .” On hearing the mammoth crowd broke out in a loud applause of appreciation. Fr. Joe further recited 3 slogans from the banners displayed all over the venue.
To mark the event VRACs advisory board decided that banners and trophies by Kripa would be given and  placed around 7 such mandals in the region of Vasai and Nalasopara. To support the event in case of  any mishap or accidents Kripa placed its ambulance with its medical team of Dr Girish Gidwani, Dr Rakesh Chaturvedi , nurses Rubina and Sarika, who were quite occupied giving first aid, fortunately no major mishap.
Later Fr. Joe visited another mandal and gave his blessing for its success. Mrs Maisha Kanekar and Mrs Jean Pereira visited the different mandals way late night in the regions of Nalasopara and Vasai representing Kripa and VRACS.
The Advisory Board Members of VRACS especially Dr Hemant Patil, Mrs. Manisha Kanekar, Mr. Santos Walvaikar and Mr.P.G. Vanmali  well supported by the Kripa team of Mozen Heredia, Jean Pereira, Rane, along with the VRACS and Kripa Staff of Vasai in organizing to coordinate with different Mandals.
As the program ended one could hear many whispers of how beautifully Fr. Joe spread the message of drug free life, Oneness and secularism.

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News Desk

Awareness at High School- Kripa Pune 03

Awareness at Chopda High School
On 23rd August 2013, Kripa Pune conducted an awareness programme for around 350 students of Chopda High School, Morwadi, Pune.
Information on addiction; its harmful consequences on one’s self, family and society were explained to the students. The resource team also shared their life experiences that went well with the students who posed many questions to the team. The students were happy to have their doubts cleared on many issues.

Submitted by
Kripa Pune

Mozen H

Awareness in school by Kripa Pune

Awareness at Hindustan Antibiotics High School
In accordance with a request from the school authorities, Kripa Pune conducted awareness on 24th August 2013 for around 500 students of Hindustan Antibiotics High School. The team focused on addictive substances like alcohol, tobacco, nicotine and gutkha. They also spoke on Changes in Lifestyle, holistic living and the Kripa Model of Recovery.

Awareness Programme for Students- Kripa Varanasi

Awareness Programme for Students
On 24th August 2013, Kripa Varanasi conducted an awareness programme at Madhyamik Vidhalyay School for students of the school in response to a request by the school authorities.
The team made the children aware on the importance of self help groups and alcoholic anonymous meeting. They were told to immediately seek help should the need arise and not succumb to peer pressure and other factors that lead to addiction.
They listened keenly to the life experiences shared by the team. The programme concluded with question-answer session

Submitted by
Kripa Varanasi
Mozen H

With Love from the 69th Battalion of CRPF, Mantipukri, Imphal

Gifts from CRPF
Under the Civic Action Program, the 69th Battalion CRPF, Mantipukhri, Imphal gifted Kripa Imphal a variety of Sports articles. The function was held on 12th August 2013 in the 69th Bn. CRPF campus with the DIG, CRPF, Nagaland and Manipur as Chief Guest and Commandant Officer as president respectively.
Kripa Imphal presented mementoes and bouquets to the members on the dais. The patients sang songs and played on musical instruments, ironically; presented by the 69th Bn CRPF in 2011.
An overview of the organization activities was also presented at the programme.

Awareness program by Kripa Pune- 1

Awareness Programme at Kasarwadi
Kripa Pune conducted an Awareness Programme on 23rd July 2013 at the Kasarwadi Medical Point for members of the general community.
The team delivered inputs of addiction and its consequences; insanity, jails, premature death. A documentary on substance abuse was screened and the staff shared their personal life experiences; how they met their downfall through their ways of addiction and how they benefited from the Kripa Model of Recovery.
Post programme, many villagers shared their own life experiences and how alcohol had affected members of their family. Necessary information on Admission procedures and the like were disseminated to them.

Submitted by 
Kripa Pune
Mozen H 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Kripanite 2013- At St Andrew's Auditorium, Bandra, Mumbai, India

Produced  by : FELIX FLOx
Fr. Joe Pereira, Deirdre Lobo D'Cunha, Gianna Drego, Lizelle D’Souza, Frederica Flor, , Shibani Kashyap, Sangita Kulkarni, Meher Mistry, Rasi Mal, Marie Paul, Aaliyah Qureshi, Brett Rodricks, Pia Sutaria,Tara Sutaria, Sagar Vaidya,
1. Students of Deirdre Lobo D’Cunha accompanist Nadine Crasto
2. Santacruz Ensemble conducted by Mimosa Almeida Pinto
Willie Mendonsa - bass,
Bryan Colaco - tenor, 
Shannon Mendonca - lead, 
Garfield Mendonca – baritone
 Solo Instrumentalist
James Miranda
Pia Suttaria
Arjun Menon
Naomi Mccoo
Ashley Lobo & Jaison Mathew
Cynthia White & Brett Rodricks
Ken Aguiar
Stephen D’Souza
Mozen Heredia and  Ashutosh Mandelia
Kripa Inhouse Catering Services
Roger Drego Theatre Management
 Stage Manager:
Vernon Alvares
 Organising Committee :
Fr. Joe Pereira, Felix Flor, Linus Pinto, Christabelle Fernandes, Sushila Kapadia,   Bosco D’souza, Francis Fernandes, Mervyn Rocha,  Stephen Monteiro, Brett Rodricks, Millie Castelino, Cynthia White, Laura Rodrigues, Sanjay Joshi
Brian Tellis
A Felix Flor Production
Mervyn Roccha


Saturday, August 24, 2013

Awareness at the city junction- Kripa Vasai

Awareness at Parnaka, Vasai
Kripa Vasai conducted an awareness programme at Parnaka, Vasai on 23rd August 2013 in response to requests from many prominent members of the area.
The resource team covered many shops and interacted with members of the general public for a considerable length of time. Pamphlets were distributed to the fullest. Many members had their doubts cleared. Queries were incessantly pouring in, with the resource team giving quality time to the participants.

Submitted by
Kripa vasai
Collage by
Mozen H

Massive awareness drive for students in a school by Kripa Pune

Awareness Programme for Students
On 03rd August, Kripa Pune conducted an awareness programme for around 600 students of NHS Sanghvi School.
The team interacted with the students continuously giving information on addiction; how to refrain from addictive substances, not succumbing to peer pressure, taking the help of counselors to pour out their problems and seeking help if required. Many students approached the staff for a one-to-one session. They also requested the team to conduct more programmes in the near future.
Submitted by
Kripa Pune
Collage by
Mozen H

Awareness un the school by Kripa Pune

 Kripa Pune conducted an awareness programme for around 160 students of Sarnobat Thopte School on the 2nd of August 2013
The students listened with rapt attention to the resource team regaling stories about their own life experiences; the harmful effects of addictive substances and the disruption in their families and homes. A question-answer session followed with the students bombarding the team with their queries. The authorities of the school thanked the staff of Kripa Pune for a fruitful and enriching programme.

Submitted by
Kripa Pune
Mozen H

Awareness at a local market by Kripa Vasai

On 23rd August 2013, Kripa Vasai conducted an awareness programme at Holi Naka market place during its peak hours. Many passersby’s sought information about the organization; its services and facilities and promised to refer clients to the centre.
They also praised the good and commendable work done by the organization in helping the alcoholics and bring about a strong change in their life style; as many villagers in that area were ex-patients of Kripa Vasai.

Kripa Vasai
Mozen H

Awareness by Kripa Vasai

Awareness Programme at Ambadi Auto stand
On 26th July 2013, Kripa Vasai and VRACS conducted an Awareness Programme at Ambadi Auto stand. The target audiences for the programme were Shop Keepers, Autorickshaw drivers and Passersby’s.
The team went around distributing pamphlets and giving information on Addiction, HIV AIDS, Kripa Nursing Home. In-house patients also helped in the programme sharing their problems caused due to addiction and the benefits of recovery in their lives. Many people came forward and interacted with the team and sought detailed information about the activities of the organization.

Submitted and collage by
Mozen H

Friday, August 23, 2013

Awareness Programme at Auto stand and in the Market- Kripa Vasai

Awareness Programme at Panchwati Auto stand and Market
On 16th August 2013, an awareness programme was conducted by Kripa Vasai and VRACS at Panchwati Auto stand and Market. The team went around distributing pamphlets and giving information on Addiction, HIV AIDS, Kripa Nursing Home. In-house patients also helped in the programme continuously giving pamphlets to shopkeepers, health care units and passersby’s.
The local leaders and social workers of the area contacted the organization requesting more programmes on a periodic basis.
Submitted by
Kripa Vasai
Mozen H

Orientation Programme for Students- Kripa Assam

Orientation Programme for Students
On 27thJuly 2013, Students from IGNOU- Handique Girls College Study Centre (BSW) and MIND India (Certificate Course in Counselling Skills) visited Kripa Assam as part of their course curriculum.
An Intensive programme on Kripa Model of Recovery, Substance Abuse, Holistic Methodologies and Interaction with In-house patients concluded the programme. The students were very happy to receive first hand information on Addiction and personally visit a rehabilitation centre.
Submitted by
Kripa Assam
Collage by
Mozen H

Awareness Programme for students- Kripa Imphal

Awareness Programme for students
On 16th July 2013, Kripa Imphal conducted an awareness program on drug addiction and HIV/AIDS at Eagle High School , Imphal EasT.
The program was intended to give informed knowledge on drug addiction and its harmful affects to the younger generation. Myths surrounding drug addiction and HIV/AIDS were also clarified during the program. The programme concluded with feedback and a question-answer session.
Submitted by
Kripa Imphal
Collage by
Mozen H

Awareness for college students- Kripa Bareilly

On 03rd August 2013, Kripa Bareilly conducted an Awareness Programme for students of standard 9th , 10th , 11th , 12th of Khalsa Inter College, Subhash Nagar Bareilly
The children were explained to be wary of people who attract them with the pleasurable effect of the substances. They were told about the short term and long term dangerous effect of addictive substances, and especially the use of inhalants, whose use is prevalent among children. They were made aware about the Kripa Model of Recovery, Self Help Groups and told to seek help should the need for counseling and treatment arise. Post session, many children came forward and promised to pass the message of prevention and treatment, to other children and adults in their localities.
Submiited by 
Kripa Bareilly
Mozen H 

Awareness by Kripa Varanasi

Awareness for School Students
In accordance with a request from the authorities, Kripa Varanasi conducted an awareness programme for school students of J.M. Public School, Sukhdevpur, Chandauli on 03rd August 2013.
The Kripa team gave an introduction of Addiction, Disease Concept and the Kripa Model of Recovery. The students were also made aware through life experience sharing and told to contact the centre should they need help. Importance of Alcoholic Anonymous and Self Help groups were also stressed on.
Submitted by
Kripa Varanasi
Mozen H

Monday, August 19, 2013

Fr. Joe organizes a self introspection 3 day All India Kripa Heads Meet in Mumbai.-Conducted by Mr. Conrad Saldanha

The Spirit of Kripa is revealed.
This year, following the Annual Day Celebrations, significant members of all Kripa Centres gathered in Bandra, Mumbai from 16-18th August for an in depth review of operational systems and management quality up gradation efforts. This included our current perspectives and addressing areas and methods where we need to make changes for improvement.
Dr Ashok Bedi, International Expert in Jungian Analysis based in the USA and Mumbai-Kripa Jungian Centre Mentor, addressed us on 17th morning, through the internet conferencing mode to provide us insights into 'The Jungian Perspective of the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous'. This is a programme that we have to practice for ourselves first so that we bring better and wider insights into our counselling efforts.
Mr. Conrad Saldanha, Management Consultant, engaged the team from the 16th and the first half of the 17th following Dr Bedi's session. Presenting unique concepts tailored to our work, he involved the members in exercises to generate new concepts and practical methods towards quality delivery and future developments. This was a total revelation. To know that answers to issues lie within us! All it required was to review in depth and to frame the right questions. The methodology could be practiced at center levels to ensure progression and sustainability. We have much work to do and as our patients deserve quality and it behooves us to put in our best efforts in all sincerity! Conrad’s understanding of the essential nature of our works and systems and working conditions was truly gratifying. The absolutely gentle and participatory manner of his presentations and unique instructions were much appreciated and we give him our heartfelt thanks. 
Dr Francis Pinto, Kripa Trustee, addressed the group on the 17th. He highlighted some of the important issues before the Board of Trustees, including upgrading technology at centres and developing a group operational methodology through information technology systems, wider inclusion of Women and Children in our programme, developing new and high quality centres in Goa, up gradations in Training and Research, better working conditions and security for Kripa staff, improved infrastructures of the centres and long standing financial sustainability of Kripa Foundation. He prioritized Goa Centres, IT systems, women and children care and improved infrastructures for early completion.
Following this, the members with the support of the Mumbai Guiding Board, made efforts to analyse the existing operations through database study and arrive at our plus and minus points and clarity in methods, keeping in mind the Standardisation Concepts that were taken on board since the Centre Heads meeting last year end. The levels of openness in this exercise indicated maturity and sincerity towards our existing efforts. We were more than willing to accept our deficiencies. No doubt there were many deficiencies in our outputs, but sincerity of effort based on existing understanding was never lacking. Jointly, we have to look forward to a new era of quality care.
Father Joe was with us all along and gave us his special insights and support as we went through the exercises and deliberations, to the extent of being with the staff till late nights hours after the sessions, talking and understanding the difficulties of each centre through their representatives.
“Our patients hand over their very lives in our care. Quality care starts within our own developed capacities and understanding, and our Spirit of Service. It’s time that we deliver the promise.” said Fr. Joe.
Submitted by
Dr Shashi Menon,
 Medical Director.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Real Freedom - An interview of Fr. Joe in the Newspaper


Thursday, August 15, 2013
Today is Independence Day, our 66th. Father Joe Pereira of the Kripa Foundation talks to Carol Andrade about another kind of freedom, from the bonds of addiction, and traces the journey that India’s largest NGO has made since August 15, 1981
The Kripa newsletter for April to June 2013, (Volume XXI, No. 2) is most enlightening. Founder Father Joe inaugurates a centre in Jaipur, he conducts yoga in Germany, moves to Katowice in Poland for another of his Europe programmes, gives special teaching on Kripa foundation Iyengar Yoga to 100 practitioners in Zurich at St. Jacob’s Church, concludes retreat in Frieberg, Germany, signs an Employment Assistance Program (EAP) with Tata Power for counselling on addiction, conducts drug awareness programmes in Bandra, Bareilly, Baroda, Guwahati, Imphal, Kolkata, and our own Dharavi.

One’s breath runs out long before the list does. Programmes in Ranchi, Vasai, Pune, Shillong, Kohima, Darjeeling, Pune, Guwahati, Varanasi, Dahanu, interventions, counselling, motivating, urging, talking and teaching. And it all began with three patients in residence, a priest, a doctor and a recovering alcoholic ‘as a role model for recovery and sobriety, in the compound of Mount Mary’s in Bandra, 32 years to the day today.

The largest NGO in India affiliated to the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, the Kripa Foundation is synonymous both with its founder Fr Joe Pereira and with the eastern disciplines it uses to effect changes in various kinds of addictions. In particular, it is associated with Iyengar Yoga in which Fr Joe is an ardent practitioner and teacher, carrying his knowledge and experience to more than 120 countries, while he counts ten among them as partners in his collaborative venture – using eastern wisdom in a combination with Christian practice to help and heal.

Last Tuesday, we met Fr Joe at Mount Mary’s Church high on the hill in the midst of reparations for the Bandra Feast. At 71, he looks 20 years younger, slim, calm, unflappable, his cell phone a constantly ringing little animal always within reach.

“I put it off only to rest, for 90 minutes of yoga at the time when everyone else is having lunch, and for hid meditation, morning and evening. For the last three decades, his weight has held steady at around 75 kg, he eats two small meals a day with a couple of munchies in between, and has the energy levels of a much younger man.

Addiction is spreading
Wednesday evenings he teaches yoga on the first floor of the Church building in Bandra. Anyone can go. Every day is more or less filled with meetings up to 8.30 pm. That is when he is in town, of course. And every day he talks about addiction and the kind of havoc he has seen in a society devoted to materialism.

“You know, 45,000 people have passed through Kripa’s rehabilitation program in 18 states in the past three decades”, he mused. “And of them, only 400 are women. They just don’t come for treatment. But that is changing”.

What is intensifying, however, is the spread of addiction in all its forms. Choosing his words very carefully, Father Joe says, “The developing world is afflicted by a value system of affluence where self-gratification and entertainment are linked all the time to mind-altering substances. This is the mirage that our youngsters are falling prey to. They must realise that addiction is the hidden enemy of excellence, that institutions of excellence are being constantly threatened by this hidden enemy”.

He prefers not to call Kripa a treatment centre. “I am a health freak”, he says, and I prefer to refer kripa (meaning ‘grace’) as a re-learning centre. What are they re-learning? How to live again? And for me, these people are my primary agents for transformation. They are my wounded healers, the only chaps who can tell the world how to get well. Medicine, prayers, even religion cannot do this, but they can. This is because they connect on the human plane, exposing their vulnerability. And when they connect with people who need healing from their addictions, the power of god shines through their weakness”.

Non-judgemental love

The calls are constant on his phone, everyone, it seems, wants a piece of him. The flip side is you realise how deep and widespread the curse of addiction is, whether it is to alcohol, or to drugs, to sex or money or power. “At first”, he says, “I used to get affected, especially if I was faced with constant self-denial in someone we were trying to help. Earlier, I could never accept that some people are born that way. Now I accept that there are some people who cannot be helped because they cannot let go of pride. God resists the proud and raises the lowly. And accepting that there are some for whom nothing can be done makes it easier to continue the work for those who can be helped”.

What he does thank God for every day of his life is the gift of empathy, the ability to be completely non-judgmental while stretching out a hand.

Why is the Kripa Foundation formula so helpful for people in the throes of addiction? “Perhaps because it is a formula that understands that addicts are not bad, they are not to be condemned. It acknowledges that you are human and that we can love you back to life”, says this man who has taught yoga in a church in Zurich at a time when the jury still seemed out on whether the discipline is “unchristian”. But this teaching based on a “blend of Mother Teresa and Iyengar” has been embraced abroad with great enthusiasm and the Alcoholics Anonymous self-help programme has begun to add the “body element” in its 12-step program to its psycho-spiritual and psycho-social dimensions.

This has been done through the use of meditation in the eleventh of its 12-step plan for recovery. Father Joe calls this “a beautiful door for us Indians to yogic spirituality”.

Meanwhile, the work goes on. There is an 80-bedded hospital facility in Vasai for patients who now also include the AIDS afflicted. Father Joe wants to expand this into a convention and retreat centre. He declares that addiction afflicts the richest of the rich as well as the poorest of the poor, sometimes the former are actually the latter and they must be recognised as such. “What I am trying to do is making Jesus relevant for the worst among us”, he declares.

With the world poised to become much worse before it gets better, isn’t the prognosis completely bleak? He doesn’t believe that. What is needed, he says, is to help society reverse its goals from wants to needs, to get people to believe that the best healing involves the shifting of energies from self-gratification to self-denial, if this culture of addiction is to be reversed. Because it can be!

Meanwhile, he prepares his armies of “wounded healers” to go out and fight the good, fight locally, nationally and globally. Freedom from self is the greatest freedom of all.

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Outburst of Gratitude... Resulting in Joy- Says Fr. Joe at Kripa Foundation 32nd Anniversary Mass celebration

Kripa Foundations 32nd anniversary celebration  commenced with a thanksgiving Eucharistic celebration by Founder Managing Trustee Fr. Joe H Pereira along with representatives of Kripa Family from all over the country, at a scheduled Mass along with parishioners of Mount Carmel Church Bandra, Fr. Joe in his homily spoke of the work that Kripa does and blended his thoughts with the New Adam - Christ as the Saviour from the evil Spirit ( alcohol). Fr. Joe's homily was well presented with the help of a power point presentation.
Later after the service Fr. Joe was interviewed by the TV Channel TV9.
A major major Kripanite 2013 will be celebrated later this evening from 7 pm on wards at St. Andrews auditorium.

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