Well-off children also becoming solvent addicts: NGONovember 14th, 2011 - 7:53 pm ICT by IANS
Kolkata, Nov 14 (IANS) The menace of solvent addiction - which was once termed as the addiction of children living on platforms and pavements - is slowly creeping into the backyards of affluent families with their kids also becoming victims of the menace, an NGO said Monday.
“Over the past decade, solvent addiction which was observed among children living on railway stations has spread to children coming from privileged backgrounds also. We have come across boys studying in good schools who have also become victims of this addiction,” said K. Viswanath, secretary, Mukti Rehabilitation Centre - which has been working primarily in the field of drug addiction and alcoholism.
According to Viswanath, solvent abuse or addiction is often an underestimated problem for many young people.
“Many people think that it’s not a problem at all. But if you go by the statistics of last few years, this menace is rising at a very fast pace both among the children of privileged and underprivileged background. Every year we get about seven to eight kids from privileged backgrounds and 30-35 kids from underprivileged backgrounds,” he said.
The main products that are used for solvent addiction are solvent-based glues and correcting fluid. The intoxication is to the extent that even if solvent addicts slip on the railway tracks and their limbs get severed, they don’t feel the pain.
Viswanath said that homeless kids who live on pavements and railway stations are the more vulnerable lot.
“While working with these children for rehabilitation we found that a large number of children were into crime and were sexually abused. Those who were sexually exposed did not have much idea of safe sex. These children were deprived of the four basic rights stated in the UN convention 1989 (protection, food, education and healthcare),” said Viswanath.
Viswanath added that after the rehabilitation process, a large number of kids have re-entered the mainstream of society.
As part of the process, the NGO, in association with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), organised a ‘Sit and Draw’ event for nearly 50 kids.
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Tags: affluent families, alcoholism, backyards, drug addiction, food education, glues, homeless kids, intoxication, k viswanath, kolkata, mukti, ngo, pavements, railway stations, rehabilitation centre, rehabilitation process, safe sex, solvent abuse, underprivileged background, viswanath