Connect with us

Lead Stories

VIDEO: Junkie turns crusader against drug addiction

‘Road to transformation was long, hard but I made it through’

Hirra Azmat

Published

🕒

on

IST

Srinagar, July 26: From being a worthless drug addict to a man whose services and expertise are now used to deter abusers from the path of addiction, Manzoor Ahmad has become a beacon of hope for many.
Considering that only years ago he was in treatment for his own drug addiction, his journey has been nothing short of miraculous and inspiration for many.
Manzoor, 55, a stick thin man from Dalgate area of district Srinagar, with high cheek bones peeping out from a gaunt face, narrates his long-drawn battle with drugs.
“I went to Goa in my teen years. There, I roamed around with foreigners who lured me into drugs,” he said.
The addiction struck with him for the next ten years. During the period, he not only lost his health, but also his hard-earned money and many friends.
His frequent escapes from his home were taking a toll on his family. Besides, they had to bear the brunt of his rage, if he did not get his daily dose of drugs.
“If I didn’t get my daily dose of drugs, I turned aggressive and my family members bore the brunt of my rage,” recalls remorseful Manzoor.
Drugs also deprived Manzoor from his passion for sports.

“I was very athletic as a teenager. I actively participated in sports like cricket and football but drugs took away everything including my stamina,” he said with a sigh.
The former drug-addict had a large circle of friends who were all into drugs and most of them were from elite circles of the society.
“We used to gather in small groups and do the drugs in abandoned buildings or parks at night time.”
“After taking drugs, I slept till midday and woke up with writhing pain. Sometimes pain overwhelmed me to such an extent that I had to tie ropes to my arms. It would continue till I got my next dose of drugs,” narrates Manzoor.
Such was his situation that his father thought he could not be rehabilitated.
“I remember one day my father gave me money for drugs and said if they can earn me good health then I should continue with it. Soon after he expired,” remembers Manzoor with a heavy emotional voice.
In 2008, Manzoor accidently met a guy from Family Planning Association India (FPAI) who pretended to be a drug addict. The brief encounter gave him a shot at getting his life back.
“I met this person on the roadside. Without revealing his identity, he told me that he will provide me a substance that gives the same feeling as drugs and that too free of cost. Since, I was running short of money so I agreed to accompany him.”
Without realizing, Manzoor entered the treatment program which extended for months together. This included undergoing various tests, medication, and intense counselling sessions.
“Slowly and steadily, I realized drugs would bring me nothing, but misery. My hatred for drugs grew to such an extent that mere cigarette smoke around me was irritating me,” he said.
After the completion of the treatment, Manzoor brought a three-wheeler and made living out of it.
In the meantime, he also got an opportunity to give back and share the message of hope and recovery to other individuals and families affected by addiction.
“Seeing my will power, the organization approached me to work as a staffer and help them in rehabilitating other addicts. As I have seen the worst, I readily accepted this offer,” he said.
His job is a challenging one which includes identifying the drug addicts, persuading them for treatment, and later on help them with counselling. Besides this, he offers free lifts to the patients throughout their treatment.
“Dealing with drug addicts demands lot of patience. On my first meeting, I take them out and offer them something to eat. After few days, I meet them again and slowly I bring up the topic of drugs and remind them of its dangerous consequences,” said Manzoor, who is now the grandfather, and father to three children.
He added, “It is a gradual process. Nobody agrees at the very first instance. But if you show them love and affection, sooner or later they come around.”
His colleagues are all praises for him. One of the staffers at Family and Planning Association of India said, “No one knows his name in this locality. He might appear to you like a commoner whom you can easily take for granted, but he does the phenomenal work. He has saved many lives and without his support, our endeavor to help such people was impossible.”
The FPA is funded by J&K SACS of State Aids Control Society.
“The road to transformation was long and hard but I made it through. There is no way that could have happened without God’s help,” says Manzoor with a smile.


Advertisement
Loading...
Comments

Lead Stories

Amit Shah in Kashmir today

Home Minister to review security, meet delegations during 2-day visit

Avatar

Published

on

Srinagar, Jun 25: Union Home Minister Amit Shah will arrive on a two-day visit to Kashmir on Wednesday.

Focusing on internal security, the home minister will chair a high-level security meeting in Srinagar during the visit.

He will also co-chair the unified headquarters meeting with J&K Governor Satya Pal Malik.

 

Unified headquarters is the state’s apex anti-militancy security grid, which comprises top officials of the security forces, including the army and the state police engaged in counter-insurgency operations.

Shah will also meet the state party leaders, delegations of the civil society and Panchayat members. He is expected to also pay obeisance at the Amarnathji Shrine during his visit.“Union Home Minister is arriving in Kashmir tomorrow (Wednesday). He will straightaway visit the cave-shrine in South Kashmir and perform Darshan there. After that he will reach Srinagar where he is scheduled to chair a high-level security meeting where top security officials have been invited,” said a top official in the security grid of Kashmir.

“On day two of his visit, he will meet several delegations including the party’s core group members, sarpanchs, panchs and also the delegations of youth and civil society and politicians,” the official said.

He will also revive the various developmental projects and pass certain important directions to Governor Satya Pal Malik.

As for BJP, Shah will meet the party leaders separately and seek overall feedback over its functioning in the state especially the upcoming membership drive to be launched by BJP.

He will fly back to New Delhi on Friday morning.

The home minister’s visit, which was earlier scheduled for June 30, was rescheduled due to his busy timetable connected with the Union Budget.

This will be his first visit to J&K after he took over as the home minister of the country.

Earlier this month, Shah held a security meeting to take stock of internal security in the country and the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, attended by National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and the Intelligence Bureau chief.

Shah has asserted that the policy of Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government of zero tolerance towards militancy will continue in Jammu and Kashmir.

BOX

In a first, separatists skip hartal call
Monitor News Bureau
Srinagar, Jun 25: A first in several years, no separatist leader or amalgam has called for a shutdown against the visit of Home Minister Amit Shah to Kashmir on Wednesday.
Neither Joint Hurriyat, comprising of Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and now arrested Yasin Malik, nor any individual separatist group called for any shutdown or issued any statement to media in this regard.
Over the last several years, the separatist groups used to call for strikes against such VVIP visits in Kashmir.
For instance, Joint Hurriyat had called for a complete shutdown on February 3 against PM Narendra Modi’s visit to Kashmir.
Similarly, the amalgam had also called for a strike on September 10, 2017 when the then Home Minister Rajnath Singh had arrived in Kashmir.
Considering that it was Amit Shah’s first visit to J&K after assuming charge as Home Minister, the separatists’ silence on it is a clear indication of them going against their own set norms over the last several years.
Shah will arrive on a two-day visit on Wednesday. Focusing on internal security, the home minister will chair a high-level security meeting in Srinagar during the visit. He will also co-chair the unified headquarters meeting with J&K Governor Satya Pal Malik.
Shah will also meet the state party leaders, delegations of the civil society and Panchayat members. He is expected to also pay obeisance at the Amarnathji Shrine during his visit.

Continue Reading

Lead Stories

Amit Shah’s visit: Security beefed up ; Traffic diversions in city for 2 days

Syed Nashir Ali Gillani

Published

on

Srinagar, Jun 25: Security has been beefed up in Srinagar ahead of Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s maiden visit to the valley.

Shah, who recently succeeded Rajnath Singh, is arriving on a two-day visit on Wednesday.

Earlier, as per the reports, he was scheduled to arrive on June 30 for a day long visit. The visit was pre-poned in view of his engagements in the parliament in connection with the ongoing monsoon session.

 

A senior police official, who wished not to be named, said that all security measures, required for the visit of high profile dignitary, have been taken. “The area domination exercise has been intensified. Adequate security measures have been put in place in and around SKICC, where Shah is scheduled to attend many crucial meetings,” he said.

On Monday evening, Jammu Kashmir Police’s Special Operation Group (SOG) conducted searches at The Bund in the heart of city.
Searches were also conducted at many places including Batwara in Srinagar’s Sonwar area on Tuesday.

Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Dr Haseeb Mughal said that “area domination exercise” was being carried out in view of the visit by senior dignitaries.“Home Minister, Amit Shah is also visiting the valley. It is also the part of the security drill being carried out every year before the commencement of annual Amarnath yatra,” he said.

Meanwhile, in view of Shah’s visit to Kashmir, the traffic police had ordered traffic diversions on different routes in Srinagar.

The traffic police, in an official order, said that no motorist shall be allowed to ply towards Nishat, Shalimar, Harwan and adjacent areas via Badyan chowk and Gupkar.“Similarly no traffic shall be allowed to ply from Ram Munshibagh towards Grand Palace and shall be diverted towards Dalgate-Khayam for their respective destinations,” it said.

Likewise, motorists intending to travel from Harwan-Shalimar-Nishat, Ganderbal and other adjacent areas towards Lalchowk have been advised by the traffic police to travel via Hazratbal-Lalbazar route instead of Foreshore-Boulevard road axis to reach respective destinations. “Motorist intending to travel from Dalgate, Lalchowk and adjacent areas towards Harwan-Shalimar-Nishat shall adopt Nowpora-Khayam-Rainawari via Dargah –Zakoora to reach their respective destinations,” it said.

The traffic police said that the vehicles of the tourists who are residing in Dal and Nishat area and emergency service vehicle are exempted from the said restriction.“However they are advised to restrict their movement to bare minimum requirement on boulevard-foreshore road axis. Timing for the traffic restrictions as ordered by District Magistrate for Wednesday is 8am to 10:30pm and Thursday 7am to 4 pm.”

“The government has adopted a policy of zero tolerance towards militants. Security forces are taking effective and continuous action in countering militancy.”

Continue Reading

Lead Stories

Tashkent meet ends; consortium appeals for trade resumption

‘Archaic biz model left cross-LoC trade vulnerable’

Firdous Hassan

Published

on

Srinagar, Jun 25: The representatives of business chambers from J&K and Pakistan-Administered Kashmir (PaK) Tuesday called upon the governments of India and Pakistan to take a comprehensive review of the modalities and technical mechanism to restore operation of Cross-LoC trade as early as possible.

As reported by The Kashmir Monitor on Tuesday, the Members of the Regional Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Associations and Federations of Cross-LoC traders and some independent entrepreneurs met for a ‘Jammu and Kashmir Cross-Line of Control Business Track II’ in Tashkent, Uzbekistan from June 23-25.

The meeting, as per the spokesperson of Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCC&I), was facilitated by ‘Conciliation Resources’, a London based organisation working for peace in conflict zones, as part of its support to the Cross-LoC Confidence Building Measures (CBM) since 2009.

 

Among those participating in the event included both Kashmir and Jammu chambers of commerce and their counterpart in Mirpur, PaK along with several entrepreneurs and cross LoC traders.

The participants said that responding to the CBMs agreed by the Governments of India and Pakistan, they sustained the cross-LoC trade with “emotional investment despite severe financial risks and procedural and operational difficulties.” “They also noted with concern and regret that after launch of trade on an archaic and ad hoc model in 2008, the Governments did not do enough to put the mechanisms on modern lines which left it vulnerable to possible misuse,” the spokesperson said.

“The participants called upon the J&K Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (a consortium of regional chambers in Srinagar, Jammu and Mirpur) to closely work with the Government authorities and the traders for early resumption of trade,” he said.

President JKJCCI Rakesh Gupta, Joint Presidents Sheikh Ashiq (President Kashmir Chamber) and Sohail Shujjah (Mirpur) reiterated their commitment to liaise between Government authorities, traders and other relevant stakeholders to ensure that real intention behind this unique CBM is not lost, said the KCC&I spokesperson.

“The participating Cross-LoC traders and leaders of business chambers from both sides of the divide assured their respective governments of full support and assistance in putting the trade on modern and transparent lines to the benefit of economic development and peace in Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.

During the three day event, the participants took a comprehensive view of the cross-LoC Confidence Building Measures initiated by the Governments of India and Pakistan since 2005.

They acknowledged the fact that various CBMs like trade and travel across LoC, in their limited scope, have contributed in building trust and enhancing shared understanding between regions and communities.

Participants were of the unanimous view that agreement on opening of the Line of Control for travel of divided families and further allowing it for trade was a demonstration of statesmanship of the leadership of India and Pakistan.

They participants, the spokesperson added, regretted that the trade had to be suspended by the Government on the Indian side, with effect from 18 April 2019, for “no fault of genuine traders”. “The abrupt suspension of trade has resulted into avoidable opportunity loss.”

They also noted that the peacebuilding and economic potential of the cross-LoC trade could not be realized to its optimum strength due to a variety of reasons. “The participants acknowledged the political sensitivities and difficulties in actualizing the spirit behind softening of Line of Control, but they vehemently asserted that businesses can be viewed separately from politics as in the case of India-Pakistan International Trade which has continued uninterruptedly despite many bilateral setbacks,” the spokesperson said.

Participation of women entrepreneurs from both sides of the Line of Control was one of the key highlights of the Tashkent meeting.
Interestingly, the meeting coincided with the rumours of some ice-breaking between the government of India and Hurriyat leaders.

The participants from J&K in the meeting included: Zulfiqar Abbasi; Ex-President of JK-JCCI; Arifa Jan, Member, KCCI, Srinagar; Ashiq Ahmad Sheikh, President, KCCI; Jasprit Kaur, Entrepreneur, Jammu; Mubeen Ahmed Shah, ex-President, JK-JCCI; Pawan Kumar Anand, LoC Trader; Rahul Pandit, Entrepreneur, Anantnag/Jammu; Rajesh Gupta, Member, Vice President, Jammu Chamber; Rakesh Gupta, President, Jammu Chamber, President JK-JCCI; YV Sharma, ex-President, JCCI; and Farooq Amin, Secretary General, KCCI, Srinagar
From PaK, the participants included: Anjum Zaman, Cross-LoC Trader, Muzaffarabad; Farzana Yaqoob, Entrepreneur from Poonch (PaK), Ghulam Murtaza, ex-President of Chamber of Commerce and Industries, Mirpur; Imran Aziz, Businessman from Poonch (PaK); Muhammad Kazeem Khan, Cross-LoC Trader; Shaista Rehman, Entrepreneur, Muzaffarabad; Sohail Shujah, President Chamber of Commerce and Industries; and Mirpur, Tanveer Anwar Qureshi, Muzaffarabad Chamber of Commerce.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Latest News

Latest News3 hours ago

Amit Shah arrives in Srinagar for 2-day visit

Srinagar: Home Minister Amit Shah arrives in Srinagar.  The Home Minister is on a 2-day visit to the state where...

Latest News3 hours ago

Lt Gen Ranbir singh reviews Amarnath Yatra security arrangements

Srinagar: Northern Army Commander, Lieutenant General Ranbir Singh on Wednesday visited units deployed for security of Amarnath Yatra and reviewed...

Latest News4 hours ago

There was no intelligence failure in Pulwama attack: Reddy in Parliament

New Delhi: G. Kishan Reddy, Minister of State in the Ministry of Home Affairs said there was no intelligence failure...

Latest News4 hours ago

Amarnath Yatra security reviewed ahead of Shah’s visit

Srinagar, June 26: Ahead of Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s visit to Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday, Lieutenant General Ranbir...

Latest News5 hours ago

Samant Goel is new RAW Chief, Arvind Kumar appointed IB head

New Delhi: The central government on Wednesday appointed Arvind Kumar, a 1984 batch IPS officer of the Assam-Meghalaya cadre, as...

Latest News5 hours ago

As ‘Token of Love’, Hindus donate land for graveyard to Muslims in Ayodhya

Ayodhya: In a gesture that could ease tension between Hindus and Muslim and, perhaps, pave the way for a solution...

Latest News6 hours ago

Assam police arrests Kashmir man for ‘obscene remark’ on Fb on slain CRPF man’s wife

Guwahati: Assam Police has arrested a person from Kulgam in Jammu and Kashmir for allegedly posting an obscene comment on...

Latest News6 hours ago

Amit Shah to begin 2-day visit to JK from today

New Delhi: Home Minister Amit Shah will arrive in Srinagar on Wednesday afternoon to review the overall security situation in...

Latest News6 hours ago

In RS, Oppn targets govt over media misuse, mob lynching

New Delhi, June 25: Misuse of media and social media, mob lynching and communalism were among the issues that Opposition...

Latest News6 hours ago

Pompeo meets PM Modi, discusses key strategic issues

New Delhi, June 26: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday and discussed various...

Latest News7 hours ago

Militant killed in Tral gunfight: Police

Police on Wednesday said that a militant was killed in a gunfight at Branpatri forest area of Tral . According...

Subscribe to The Kashmir Monitor via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to The Kashmir Monitor and receive notifications of new stories by email.

Join 1,011,263 other subscribers

Archives

June 2019
M T W T F S S
« May    
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
Advertisement