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Kripa Foundation helps people afflicted with chemical dependency and HIV infection to get back on their feet
In 1981, when awareness about alcoholism and drug addiction being akin to a disease was very low, an alcoholic came to Fr Joseph Pereira for help. Fr Pereira, with a doctor, started Kripa Foundation to rehabilitate those afflicted with chemical dependency and HIV.
Kripa adopted a two-pronged approach—rehabilitation of people with a substance abuse disorder by a residential rehab facility; and a community rehab facility for the underprivileged who cannot afford residential rehab. The other approach is preventive; “it includes awareness programmes in schools and colleges because they are high-risk groups,” says Krishna Iyer, development manager, Kripa Foundation.
Kripa looks for complete rehabilitation. Over 95% of the counsellors are recovering addicts, trained to help others. This group is backed by paramedics, medical staff, psychologists, physiatrics and social workers. It also conducts in-house training for counsellors to update their knowledge for treatment of addiction.
The entity also has a corporate assistance programme where employees struggling with substance abuse and addiction get help. Substance abusers are prone to relapses. Kripa tries to work with other NGOs to create support for those who want complete rehabilitation.
Ms Iyer says, “We are associating with the Tata group for a major training convention centre which will look at in-house training for Kripa’s staff. We’ll develop courses for professionals interested in specialising in the field of addiction counselling.”
When a person seeks admission to a recovery programme, Kripa uses global screening tools and customises programmes. It has a three-month programme called ‘Kripa model of treatment’ where therapeutic treatment is used—including yoga practices and meditation techniques (developed by the BKS Iyengar Institute, Pune), individual counselling and family counselling for people undergoing rehab. Residential treatment takes 90 days to enable a lifestyle change. The programme costs Rs19,500 (including boarding and lodging). Kripa also offers different kinds of accommodation—from a simple dormitory to air-conditioned and special rooms, depending on the availability of these facilities and what the patient can afford. The treatment remains the same for all. Counselling and OPD (out-patient department) facilities at Kripa are free.
Patients who come back after a relapse are also put through a ‘relapse prevention programme’ which tries to identify the causes that led to the relapse, to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.
“In spite of growing awareness (about substance abuse), there is an increase in the number of patients coming with additional problems,” says Ms Iyer. The major reason for this is increased stress at work, in the education system, disintegration of family units as well as hereditary addiction (due to genetic causes). A community-based rehab programme in Dharavi (north-west Mumbai) is conducted for people who cannot pay, and live on the streets. “We look at having a day & night care shelter for such people so that they have a place to stay,” says Ms Iyer. There are vocational courses for their economic rehab even as psychiatrists, counsellors and doctors attend to their medical needs.
Kripa also works closely with the government and is affiliated with the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. It assists the government in implementing prevention & treatment programmes, along with data collection required at the national level. It also works with the AIDS control society and the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) at the zonal level. Many people caught during rave parties by the Anti-Narcotics Department and the NCB are referred to Kripa for rehabilitation after the raids. Over 2,700 people come to Kripa to its 19 centres in 11 states every year—and it has treated nearly 29,700 people since inception.
81/A, Chapel Road,
Mt Carmel Church,
Behind Lilavati Hospital,
Mumbai 400 050
Tel: 022 2640 5411