here was a time when all of Mohan Devakhate’s earnings as an autorickshaw driver were spent on drinking. A resident of Keshwapur, Mohan is now a teetotaller. He earns an average of Rs. 600 per day, all of which either goes towards family expenses or savings.
Mohan is among more than 1,000 persons living in districts in north Karnataka who have benefited from de-addiction camps conducted by Sri Kshetra Dharmasthala Rural Development Project (SKDRDP).
The project started conducting de-addiction camps in rural and semi-urban areas two years ago and has been able to bring about a qualitative change in the lives of residents.
While every year Gandhiji’s call for a ‘liquor-free India’ is remembered on October 2, SKDRDP has tried to bring addicts back to mainstream society.
According to SKDRDP district director Seetharam Shetty, in the last two years 20 de-addiction camps have been conducted in Dharwad, Gadag, Haveri and Belgaum. As many as 1,427 addicted persons from these districts and border towns in Maharashtra have taken part in the camps.
Mohan, who purchased his own autorickshaw recently, tries to motivate others to give up liquor. To ensure regular follow up SKDRDP has set up Zilla Jana Jagruti Vedike. “We try to keep in touch with those who have participated in the camp. Not every participant gets de-addicted, but many quit drinking,” Mr. Seetharam said.
At least 1,427 addicts from Dharwad, Gadag, Haveri and
Belgaum, have benefited from the