BABA IQBAL SINGH, of the Kalgidhar Society at Baru Sahib leads a network of spiritually inspired Akal Akademies, in a combined effort to help rehabilitate drug addicts, particularly in Punjab.

Addiction to drugs,alcohol and tobacco occur mostly among those with predominantly negative instincts, especially when they find themselves in similar company or when they suffer low self-esteem. Rather than shunning them,family and friends must shower them with love,instilling faith and confidence.Without preaching or being patronising, share stories of spiritual role models with them including those of Dhruva, Prahlad and the sons of Guru Gobind Singh who showed great courage in facing atrocities. Motivate the victim to recite the Divine Name — and impress upon him that this could give him strength to resist addictions and would enable him to experience real bliss through spiritual practice, in place of chemically induced toxic highs.Create circumstances at home that will encourage him to take stock and willingly give up harmful stimulants.

Positive Role Models

Once the addict comes in contact with positive role models, their aura is bound to have a salutary effect.

In good company,the addict will be so inspired to turn over a new leaf that his negative perceptions will become positive.Tasty and healthy food should be served to him to boost his self-esteem and revive his interest in the good things of life that have beneficial effects. The Kalgidhar Trust/Society at Baru Sahib has established a network of schools in Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and UP. Besides providing good education, these schools groom students in a holistic manner so that they go home and motivate their family and friends to stay away from alcohol, drugs and other addictions.There are several examples of students who have inspired their elders at home to become clean. In Moga, Punjab, value-based education brought about a positive change in an affluent family that runs a successful transport business here.

Two young children of two affluent Sikh brothers heard of our Akal Academy that was 21 km from their home.After just three months in school,they gained enough confidence to object to their fathers’ drinking binges.They requested their family members to stop their addictions as it was going against the teaching of Sikh tenets. But their pleas fell on deaf ears. They shared their pain with the Principal of the Academy and asked if they could stay in school. Stunned by the appeal of the young children, the Principal assured them that the Trust would accommodate them free in the school premises.

The children now went back home and told their parents that since they were not trying to overcome their addiction to alcohol, they were leaving home. Stunned and surprised at this bold decision taken by their children, the parents agreed to make serious efforts to de-addict themselves. But the children, not confident of the commitment given by their parents, packed their bags and stayed in school. The parents rushed to school to meet the principal; she gently rebuked them but counselled them, as well. The incident shook up the two families and the members who were addicted to alcohol decided to give it up permanently. Later, they even got baptised in the Sikh way of life. This is just one example of how value- based education can impact society positively.

June 26 is International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.

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~ Source: Speaking Tree