As a part of its commitment towards the eradication and treatment of drug addiction of the city’s homeless and lesser privileged, th Department of WCD, Govt of Delhi and  leading NGOs, has launched a mobile health van offering OPD deaddiction services on the go.

The Deputy Chief Minister Mr. Manish Sisodia inaugurated a mobile health van to help homeless in deaddiction from drugs at Delhi Government’s Night Shelter at Yamuna Bazaar. The date incidentally also marked the Dy CMs birthday.

The launch was opened by WCD chief Shilpa Shinde, who acknowledged that “ the problem of drug addiction is a major problem in the city, with a rise in the city’s young abusers, and hence a chief issue for the WCD”.  The event saw the attendance of some prominent NGOs such as Prayas, Sangam, SPYM as well as local MLA of the area, Miss Alka Lamba.

The Yamuna Bazaar is located in the New Delhi district of Delhi near the Red Fort, with a huge community of slum dwellers and one the cities highest drug abusing populations, ranging from young children to aging adults. The Dy CM noted that the “biggest challenge of the homeless in this area, and the biggest inhibitor against their using night shelters, is the addiction and its own set of challenges that plagues this population. But the approach of the baton “danda” works no more, only the approach of love “gale se lagana” applies as the best approach.” Thus, in order to meet the special challenges of this part of the city’s homeless addicts, the government in partnership with WCD and proactive local NGOs, launched a mobile Health Van, offering state of the art medical facilities especially catering to deaddiction.

This launch is one more step in the government’s aim towards reduction and complete stoppage of substance abuse through detox, strategic intervention; restoration or rehabilitation and behavior modification of the city’s homeless addicts.  It’s also a part of the government’s larger strategy in rehabilitation and treatment of the children and adult addict population lining the Yamuna Bazaar and Yamuna Banks, known as the Yamuna Pushta Project. In the coming months, the government seeks to make active therapeutic and skill building interventions in the area with the help of NGOs, WCD and experts to treat and rehabilitate the addicted children and young adult population of the region. Several studies and surveys have already been initiated in this regard. Pioneering institutes like SPYM and Jamia Milia Islamia extended their cooperation and technical support on the mapping of the size, profiling of the homeless and designing the intervention strategies. If all goes well, the first of its kind of interventions will certainly become a model for various issues related to urban slums.

Besides the van launch, the Dy CM also spoke on the successfully running 260 night shelters of Delhi with a housing capacity for more than 20000, replete with above average amenities such as blankets, TV, libraries, Health facilities and food provision. The launch was a success, culminating with the handing over of Adhaar Cards and Passbooks by the Dy CM to the inhabitants of the shelter.

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