How Mohit, who sold old water bottles to pay for his substance abuse, started a new life

13-year old Mohit Kumar (name changed) is the son of an auto driver. His mother works a domestic help in the locality. Mohit has 3 brothers. His eldest brother, aged 22 years is also an auto driver, but has never been to school; the two others go to school. Mohit was also admitted in a school near their home, but he was not interested and did not go to school regularly. Instead, he used to collect left over water bottles from the Patna Railway Station and sell it. With the money he earned, he used to purchase solution (dendrite) and was quite addicted to it.

When our outreach staff contacted him at Patna Railway Station he was actually inhaling the solution. Initially, he denied it but later admitted that he got into this habit from his friends with whom he was collecting bottles. With the order of the Child Welfare Committee, he was referred to DISHA de-addiction centre.

In the first evaluation during his detoxification process, Mohit was not showing interest in anything taught there. He took his time and slowly developed interest in learning dance, reading & writing alphabets and drawing.  Within 3 weeks later, he had learnt writing and counting numbers and draing flowers. At the end of the first month, he was able to read and write his own name, dance, and draw fruits.

On completion of his 3 months stay a final evaluation was done and it was found that Mohit was living an addiction free life. He was studying regularly, bathing and eating timely. Other improvements in his behaviour, especially towards staff and other children were also noted. He even started liking the company of the other children.

During this period, his mother visited the shelter 6 times with a request to send Mohit with her. Every time, she was made to understand that he is there for his own good only and was politely asked to return back. But when the time came for her to receive her son, she was extremely happy to see how much her son had changed. He looked neat and clean and was well behaved. More importantly, he started taking interest in studies and promised to never use solution again. A telephonic follow-up with the family in a few weeks confirmed that he is now regularly going to school and he is no more involved in any substance abuse.