34 de-addiction centres in state left high and dry

The families of dailywagers Yogish and Girish at Kakkepadavu, located 30 km from Mangaluru, are living happily today.

The nightmarish domestic violence are a thing of past after the men stopped drinking alcohol.

These men and thousands of alcoholics had achieved sobriety with plenty of help from the de-addiction centres in Dakshina Kannada district including Prajna Counselling Centre (PCS), Link Anti-Addiction Citizens Committe (LAACC) and Puttur-based Society of the Sisters of St Joseph of Tarbes.

These de-addiction centres, identified as Integrated Rehabilitation Centre for Addicts (IRCAs), by Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MSJE), are extending help to all and sundry but have not received any help  either from the centre or state government.

In all 34 de-addiction centres in state are yet to receive the grant-in-aid (GIA) promised by MSJE from 2015.

MSJE recognising the good work of these de-addiction centres across the country had decided to support activities of non-governmental organisations, working in the areas of prevention of addiction and rehabilitation of
addicts.

Under the assistance to voluntary organisations for prevention of alcoholism and drug abuse scheme, the Ministry decided to provide grant-in-aid (GIA) up to 90% of the approved expenditure (quantum of assistance is 95 % for NGOs in north eastern states), sources in MSJE told DH.

Dayananda Kumar, a Section officer in MSJE, when contacted confirmed that the grant-in-aid barring Karnataka was released to 363 de-addiction centres in 27 states and union territories.

Prajna Counselling Centre (PCS) Director Prof Hilda Rayappan said the bills submitted for receiving grant-in-aid for past three years, now amount to more than Rs 1.20 crore.

Lydia Lobo of Link Anti-Addiction Citizens Committee says bills worth Rs 27 lakh are still pending with the ministry.

Eshwar, president of Bengaluru-based Eshwar Education and Welfare Society which runs a de-addiction centre in Peenya, accused state grant-in-aid committee, headed by principal secretary (Department of women and child empowerment of differently abled and senior citizen) Uma Mahadevan of denying them grant.

Lydia said the ministry, based on state grant-in-aid committee’s complaint that the grant-in-aid was misused in Karnataka, had stopped releasing the grant and had directed the committee to conduct a probe and submit a report.

“On the directions of this committee, deputy commissioners were asked to visit the de-addiction centres in their district and submit a report. The deputy commissioner inspected our centre and later submitted a report to the grant-in-aid committee. The deputy commissioner’s visit was followed with another inspection by a central team,’’ Lydia said.

Eshwar said he had met Union Minister of Statistics and Programme Implementation Sadananda Gowda in Bengaluru and had requested him to get the grant released by directing state grant-in-aid committee to submit the state and centre’s reports to the Ministry.

“I even wrote to the Prime Minister’s office, but there was no response,” he
said.

Minister for Women and Child Development Jayamala did not return the call.

After having made many trips to New Delhi and Bengaluru, Prof Hilda Rayappan and Lydia Lobo are frustrated and do not know how to pay salaries to their dedicated staff. “If there is inspiration from god, the good work will continue,’’ they says with exasperation.

Ranks third

Karnataka ranks third among 28 states with Integrated rehabilitation centre for addicts (IRCAs). Maharashtra ranks first with 68 de-addiction centres, followed by Punjab with 37 and Karnataka with 34 centres.

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34 de-addiction centres in state left high and dry

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