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Volleyball tournament for former drug addicts

punjab Updated: Jul 10, 2014 12:45 IST
Anshu Seth
Anshu Seth
Hindustan Times
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To underline the importance of rehabilitation in drug addicts undergoing detoxification and counselling across the state, the Punjab State Drug Counselling and Rehabilitation Centres Union is organising a volleyball tournament from July 11 to 13.

Called the Recovery Cup, the tournament will be played at Growth Foundation Drug Counselling and Rehabilitation Centre, Chotti Mundian, on Chandigarh Road here.

It will have 20 teams of former addicts from 18 centres functional in various towns, including Phagwara, Jalandhar, Kapurthala, SAS Nagar, Hoshiarpur, Nawanshahr and Ludhiana.

There would be 120 players who will partake in the first-ofits-kind tournament and their kits/dresses will bear the names of the respective centres.
The participants are from 19-35 years of who received formal training in volleyball during their stay at rehabilitation/ counselling centres.

Interestingly, the tournament will not have a bigwig as the chief guest, and the honour to declare open the tournament and close it will be given to the addicts who fought their battle against drugs and came out victorious. The tournament is part of a morale-building exercise which will help restore the self-esteem of the participants in addition to motivating others undergoing the treatment.

According to health experts, such activities become elemental in averting relapses in addicts and carry a message of a normal life for addicts.

The video of the tournament will be sent to all rehabilitation/ counselling centres. The winner team will get a cash prize of Rs 31,000, followed by Rs 11,000 and Rs 5,100 for the teams bagging the second and third positions, respectively. To check the authenticity of players, the organisers will conduct a question-answer round revolving around the rehab programme which is same at all centres.

The initiative is the brainchild of Amanjeet Singh, president of Punjab State Drug Counselling and Rehabilitation Centres Union, who runs the rehabilitation/counselling centre called AB Growth Foundation.

The cause is close to Amanjeet’s heart as having been an addict for seven years he managed to wriggle out of addiction and realising the trauma that the families of addicts undergo he devoted his life to helping the Punjabi youth suffering from addiction. “We appreciate the state government for having commenced a drive against drug addiction, but it is significant to take every step with a view to bringing in long-lasting reform which is possible only by assuring rehabilitation of addicts. To bring in more reforms in rehabilitation and counselling centres, I regularly visit various centres in developed countries and share the techniques/methodology adopted there with the health authorities,” Singh said.