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Dwijen, a Former Addict, Gives Back

Dwijen’s story was originally posted on Muktangan Rehabilitation’s website. Find out more about Muktangan on their listing page.

The universal saying goes that a cat has nine lives. As an individual, I wouldn’t know whether it is true or not, but in my case, the fact is that I have had three lives.

As my name suggests, I got two natural lives – one when I was born and came into existence on this mother Earth and second – when I was given Yagyopavit (the thread ceremony, being a Brahmin), the most sacred conversion term.

Dwijen Smart

The third life, I got from Muktangan De-Addiction Center, wherein a real sense I was converted from a beast to a human being, not technically but as a terminology – based on my behaviour of instincts.

It was here that I was taught once again to think and act normally. I am back to being a productive member of society.

Although I lost the most valuable 14 years of my life due to multiple addictions, I was able to gather and put back scattered bits and pieces of my life, with a lot of support from Muktangan.

Today I am a counselor at Muktangan De-Addiction Center, where I am like a wheel in the machinery, extending helping hand wherever required. I was recently deputed to the Andaman and Nicobar islands for a tenure of 8 weeks to help bring about awareness of this disease and help in setting up a de-addiction centre.

Anil Awachat

Anil Awachat, the founder of Muktangan Rehabilitation Center

It was during this tenure that I found SARnet. We were searching for sources of funding and I stumbled upon the wesouthasians.org website. We put in a post on the message board of the site and were promptly contacted by Tushar, who put us in contact with the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.

Simultaneously, I have set up a small side business of digital printing, catering and tailoring. Although I do have to put in 14 to 16 hours of hard work every day to recover from my lost years, I am a happy man. I have a loving and understanding wife who also extends a helping hand to run the side business. We are blessed with a baby boy who is almost 3 years old.

Last but not the least, I can never forget the painful moments, or rather I should put them as years, I have given to my parents and to my near and dear ones. They had to undergo mental, physical, emotional and social trauma because of me.

I thank god and I thank all my friends, well-wishers and colleagues who stood by me in spite of all the misgivings. They showed me the way to recovery, step by step, to become what I am today. I pray to God that each day as it passes should keep me the same and I continue towards betterment, till the last day, when the time comes to say good-bye to all.