Chehla Sahbi (Tarn Taran, Punjab): In June-July 2017, 18 drug-related deaths were reported from the Tarn Taran district in Punjab. Among them were two friends of Gurpreet Singh, 23.
When Gurpreet saw the mother of one of his friends crying inconsolably, embracing the body of her dead son, Gurpreet decided to give up drugs. He spent a month in a de-addiction centre and since then, he has not touched drugs. He is now trying to repay the loans worth several lakhs, which he had run up to fund purchasing of drugs. He is also working the fields of his family with his parents and brothers and has started playing kabbadi to win the prize money offered in district-level tournaments. And he has won handsome amounts.
Two of his other friends have also given up drugs, inspired by his example.
On a high
Gurpreet says that when he was in class 12, he was introduced to drugs by his classmates. He soon got hooked to them and started taking smack and heroine regularly. He took admission in BA course but stopped going to the college within two months as he was on a high 24 hours a day. He did not go home for days together and on many an occasion, his family members had to carry him home from roadsides, where he lay unconscious.
He started taking money on loan from his friends and acquaintances and soon the amount grew to lakhs of rupees. The lenders started visiting his home to demand their money back, creating a new problem for his family.
But now he is a changed man. The loan amount is reducing gradually and he is in the pink of health. Gurpreet is now persuading other youths to give up drugs and has so far succeeded in weaning away 67 youngsters from the fatal addiction.