I am Krishnakumar IP, a young professional social worker from Kerala. My native place is Ernakulum. My family includes parents and an elder brother, his wife and daughter. I completed my post-graduation degree in Master of social work from Bharata Mata School of Social Work, Kochi. My interested area is child and elderly, in that itself I initiated more in supporting and engaging in child related activities those focusing to polish the talents and creativeness of each child. It includes children from various profile like Tribal, Slums, Urban and Rural areas. During the Covid-19 pandemic period I got an opportunity to be a volunteer under the District Hental Health Program, Ernakulum and It helps me to polish out my counseling skills. Also, during this pandemic period I organized community programs and campaigns for elderly, chellanam coastal area and ottamasheri coastal area.
VOLUNTEERING FOR ME Volunteering is an art were one spares his/her time for others, most importantly focusing towards the betterment and development of the community. volunteer means when a person comes in front to do something for others, this sort of act itself is the most beautiful form of action that one individual can do. Volunteering works leads to receiving inner happiness through various things that we do to the community without expecting anything in return and the only happiness which money cant give. VOLUNTEERING STORY I have been engaging in the volunteering activities for the past 6 years, it began during my graduation. It provides me more opportunity to do things to others. In the beginning stage of my volunteering career I didn’t give much importance to it, soon by engaging in more activities it helped me to polish myself in providing services. In the beginning, the department registered a social club “Literary Academia Alliance” focusing on engaging the students with social activities and initiatives. Through this club we visited old age homes, special schools, deaf schools and other vulnerably challenged areas. This was a turning point in my life. I also got an opportunity to begin a part-time tuition for elderly people to learn English language. There were around 10 participants and I conducted sessions on the basic of English language.
I also worked in an NGO “Amaara Foundations”, it was a full time volunteering works. We focused on the development of the children our organization functioned in Ernakulum and Chennai. In Ernakulum we focused on 6 schools and from there with the help of teachers we selected the most vulnerable and challenged students. Through various activities and learning’s we motivated the students to step into their dreams.
My passion towards social activities insisted me to learn something related to society and engage in activities that will foster the betterment of the community. In my post-graduate degree I opted social work since it provides me exposure and to take up opportunities. The thing that I learned is that each volunteering works has its own freshness. Throughout my social work training period I got opportunities to volunteer for Tribal Department Ernakulum, District Mental Health Program Ernakulum, Social Justice Department Ernakulum, Petronet Project, Aadhi Shakthi Summer School- Tribal Upliftment, and Help age India and CHAI-Kerala.
My inspiration for volunteering is the unexpected incidents that happened in my life during my childhood. Where I didn’t receive any acceptance or individuality and I was totally isolated situation. At the time, when I focused towards others and engage in activities that will help someone else, slowly the recognition and acceptance came to me. More than that the inner happiness, it foster me to do more things to others. We only have one life to live, if we do good things to others that positive qualities reflects on ourselves “KARMA” .
VOLUNTEERING JOURNEY My volunteering story begins during college days it was during 2016 and here I get an opportunity to be a part of our club “Literary Academia Alliance” through this club various social activities were been fulfilled. Our teachers support and guide us in initiating and promoting socially relevant needs in our community. By joining hand with “Haritha Keralam Mission” we organized our first official program in promoting the domestic farming and all. The sustainable program that I get an opportunity to organize is to provide mid-day meal to the patients who were admitted in Government Ayurveda Medical College, Thripunithura. It was like campaigns were we received a massive support from our department as well as from the whole college. We also initiated tuition classes for elderly people in order to learn English and Hindi languages.
I joined “Amaara Foundations” during the year 2018; this NGO was focused towards the betterment of the children who were facing challenges in their life. Through our weekly sessions in the selected schools from the district, happiness and learning programs were conducted to the students. We conducted exposure visits, vocational training and happiness programs for the students.
During the year 2019, my social work career began, were I found various volunteering activities. It varied according to the mission, vision and the targeted population of the organizations. I got an opportunity to take up internship at the Tribal Department, Ernakulum; soon it helped me to engage in more activities. The volunteering activities that we conducted there is mainly conducting awareness sessions, games, counseling sessions, motivational sessions, career guidance, tuition classes, yoga classes and the activities that will benefit them.
During the year 2020, I got an opportunity to volunteer in District Mental Health Program Ernakulum. This was a great achievement for me because through DMHP I was able to understand the status of the Covid patients, children and elderly and also acknowledged their psychosocial needs. If in case of serious issues we provide tele-counselling for them and make the strategies to receive materials for the needy ones. This is when I realized the importance of lending time, listen and be a support hand for others.
Bharata Mata School of Social Work, our department also supported me in engaging and initiating social activities. During the year 2020-2021, I organized 3 major community programs for the department. To help the flood affected people in Chellanam (Ernakulam), Ottamasheri (Allapuzgha) and to provide Karkkidaka Kanji Kit to the elderly people in Kadamakkudy (Ernakulam). I was fully satisfied with these volunteering activities that I organized for the community. We all together collected an amount of ₹40,000/- for Ottamasheri, ₹25,000/- for Chellanam. Finally, through only sponsorship collected an amount ₹9,000 for Kadamakkudy. It was a great achievement during this Covid pandemic to collect money and was appreciated widely. Volunteering as field data collector in the projects initiated by Help age India and Petronet LNG Kochi provides me an opportunity to communicate and know the grass root level problems of the people mainly related to health status, especially regarding the matter of the elderly people. Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan Campaign is a national level project organized by Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment department. Project was officially launched on 2020 August 15th the project focused to implement on the most vulnerable (drugs usage) 272 districts all across the country. Master Volunteers had to run the project and there were around 8000 master volunteers across the country. The duties assigned to these volunteers are to initiate and organize community awareness programs, hotspot identification and other medical facilities. I got an opportunity to be a master volunteer in Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan Campaign. It helped me to polish my qualities in dealing people. The designation of master volunteer it provides us to make aware a large audience about the negative impacts of the drug usages and the strategies that to be implemented in order to reduce the usage of drugs. This project helps me personally to develop as a professional social worker were it opens up to join hands with officials including political leaders, police authorities, excise authorities and educational department. This volunteering is something that is different from rest of all because it is a serious social issue. the over usage of drugs has been increasing world wide. And while dealing with such issues it creates more challenges, like there are high chances of facing more difficulties from the drug users and dealers regarding our intervention in the community.
PROJECT Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan ORGANISATION Ministry of social justice and empowerment, District Social Justice Department Ernakulam MISSION & VISSION Vision:- “Our vision is to be a leading university dedicated to the pursuit of excellence by fostering, disseminating and applying knowledge, and instilling ethical and intellectual values to ensure and enrich the future of all the student community,”
*Awareness generation programmes
*Focus on Higher Educational institutions, University Campuses and Schools;
*Community outreach and identification of dependent population;
*Focus on Treatment facilities in Hospital settings; and
*Capacity Building Programmes for Service Provider. PROJECT DESCRIPTION Nasha Mukt Bharat Annual Action Plan for 2020-21 would focus on 272 most affected districts and launch a three-pronged attack combining efforts of Narcotics Bureau, Outreach/Awareness by Social Justice and Treatment through the Health Department.
The Ministry has conducted the first National Survey on Extent and Pattern of Substance Use in India through the National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre (NDDTC) of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi during 2018. As per the report, Alcohol is the most common psychoactive substance used by Indians followed by Cannabis and Opioids. About 16 Crore persons consume alcohol in the country; more than 5.7 Crore individuals are affected by harmful or dependent alcohol use and need help for their alcohol use problems 3.1 Crore individuals use cannabis products; about 25 lakh suffer from cannabis dependence 2.26 Crore use opioids; approximately 77 lakh individuals are required help for their opioid use problems.Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan focuses on decreasing the over usage of substance from our society. There were morethan 8000 master volunteers who works for the functioning of the project all over India. Project through various activities like drug awareness sessions, hotspot identification, treatment facilities and referrel facilities. It provides the basic information that is necessary for the ordinary people to aware regarding the issues that occurs due to the usage of drugs and related items. Ernakulam was one of the main vulnerable district select from Kerala for the Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan in the first phase. This was due to the increased substance related cases and health issues occurred in the drug users. The project was handled by District Social Justice Department, were they train the professionals and social workers. After completing the orientation and training workshop of 4 days, we master volunteers learned the basic informations and techniques that need to be fullfil while dealing with the project. Project also collaborates with various institutional branches like Kudumbashree, Educational institutions, Police stations, Excise department, Deaddiction centres, Residence associations, merchants associations and all other relavant stake holder.
An Annual Action Plan for 2020-21 would focus on (272) most affected districts and launch a three-pronged attack combining efforts of Narcotics Bureau, Outreach/Awareness by Social Justice and Treatment through the Health Department. The Action Plan has the following components:
• Awareness generation programmes
• Focus on Higher Educational institutions, University Campuses and Schools
• Community outreach and identification of dependent population
• Focus on Treatment facilities in Hospital settings
• Capacity Building Programmes for Service Provider
The following intervention programmes would be carried out in the (272) districts to increase community participation and public cooperation in the reduction of demand for dependence-producing substances and promote collective initiatives and self-help endeavour among individuals and groups vulnerable to addiction or found at risk including persons who have undergone treatment at IRCAs as a follow up measure.
LENGTH OF SERVICE The project was officially launched on 2020 August 15th and it was a continuous process planned for a year. Activities were planned throughout the selected districts across the country. The project by 2021 August 15th concluded its first phase of implementation. Hereafter, begins the second phase of project were it more focus on the methods to intervene more service to the public related to the substance issues. It includes providing awareness sessions, hotspot identifications, and more modified treatment facilities, to ensure avail of the medicines at low cost for the needy ones, to refer the drug users to the de-addiction centers. The project is sustainable in nature as the cases and negative impacts of the substance uses increases. These issues created by the drugs and related can be overcome or recovered only joining hands together of various institutions in the society. ROLE IN PROJECT My role in the project as Master Volunteer and it focused on promoting the objectives of the project to the common people and needed ones. This was done through intervening in the issues related to the substance usages, by conducting drug awareness community programs, and identifying the vulnerable areas in the community.
The project helped me to learn skills and techniques that helped to:
a) Reduce substance use in the community.
b) Protect and promote human and youth rights.
c) Ensure that services are accessible, community based and differentiated along a continuum of care including psychosocial support for substance users, their primary caregivers and families.
d) Conduct outreach activities among vulnerable young population in the community for prevention of substance use.
e) To provide a safe and secure drop-in space for substance users in the community, this had provisions of screening, assessment and counseling.
f) To render psycho social interventions particularly based on behavioral approaches including Adolescent Community Reinforcement Approach, Motivational Enhancement Therapy, and Group therapy.
g) To provide referral and linkage to treatment, care and rehabilitation services for substance dependents.
The main activities that initiated as Master Volunteer & Outreach Worker (ODIC) include:
• Outreach workers try to find people who need help or support rather than waiting for those people to come and ask for help. It is an activity of providing services to any populations who might not otherwise have access to the services. The agency should aim in setting up a static service point known as ODIC in the most common populated substance use sites situated among substance users in the community where substance users can freely access the centre.
• The outreach worker would go to the community and interact with the substance users individually or as a group to help the substance users to identify their own problems and needs, understand what solutions can be used to address their problems with their own resources combined with outside support. Most importantly an outreach worker would motivate and encourage the substance users to visit ODIC.
• The ODIC would provide counseling service to the substance users individually and as a group. The counseling session would be taken up by a trained counselor on a daily basis where he/she would help and assist the substance users to retrospect what was the reason and cause behind the intake of substances and give awareness on the negative impacts of the substances. The substance users would be involved in group discussion, family counseling.
Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan opened a platform for me to develop and explore my social work career. Where it helped me to communicate and collaborate with various stakeholders in the community. During the volunteering period the District Social Justice Department I was assigned the role of the coordinator of Eloor Municipality. The first step is to create a club including stakeholders. The work and sustainability of the core issue should be discussed in this core committee and need to plan for the duties and activities that need to be implemented in the assigned area.
My skills and experience in teaching field helps me in dealing the awareness sessions. Moreover, the overall master volunteer team under ernakulam district was very cooperative and supportive. It helps me to gain more information and learnings from them. This personally helped me in gaining confidence in communicating and discussing the important societal related issues and giving suggestions as per the people’s opinion. By engaging in this project it helps me in polishing out my social work career and most importantly developing myself by doing various activities. This project open up’s a wide range of opportunities to its master volunteers, as it was runs under government authorities there received more recognition from all the institutions and authorities regarding promoting the objectives of the project. The pathway to Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan helped me to gain a job at ODIC Project even before completing my social work training period from Bharata Mata School of Social Work, Kochi. The key projects of National Institute of Social Defence (NISD) are Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan and ODIC Project. Both the projects focused on the deletion of the over usage of substance from the community.
IMPACT OF PROJECT The major impacts of the project are that it provides a massive awareness regarding the objectives of the project. This was done through various strategies like in the initial phase master volunteers conducted awareness sessions full across the major institutions in the district. Thereafter, collaborating with Kudumbashree conducted wide range of awareness among the women clubs and related settings in the district. A formal request letter from the office of District collector was forwarded to all the local governing settings like Block panchayath, Cooperation & Municipalities. This helps to gain the support of the local authorities in support of the project beyond the political variations. Also, on observing World Anti-drug day on June 26, we conducted a vibrant campaign for a month regarding the awareness of the drugs. This was done in the form of conducting various competitions items like Speech, Drawing, Social Media promotion, Dance, Skit, and Troll Making. Through various kinds of awareness programs and activities it fosters the public to know more negative impacts of substance and related matters. It opens up an open platform for the grass root of the community to discuss and share opinions regarding the core issues. The suggestions and hotspot identification report were been submitted to the District social justice department, Ernakulum. The major impact of the project includes is to make aware of the public about themselves. The way their lovely ones get into the trap of substance and related matters. There were a lot of services that been provided by the Government authorities to decrease the increasing cases that related drug usages and all. But the main fact is that most of the common people were not aware of such programs and policies from the Government authorities. Through this campaign master volunteer explained the each and every service that is initiated by the Government focusing the public interest. SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS
GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-being,
GOAL 4: Quality Education,
GOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities,
GOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions,
GOAL 17: Partnerships to achieve the Goal
• Best outgoing student Award 2021, Bharata Mata School of Social Work.
• Master volunteer under the central government project “Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan”
• Volunteering tele-counselor at District mental health program, Ernakulam.
• Be the part in organizing Covid care centre under KCBC and CHAI Kerala.
• District coordinator of Kannur, “Aadhi shakthi summer school, Tribal upliftment”. FUTURE PLANS My future plans include organizing clubs for the youth and adolescence that faces challenges on the basis of over usage of substances, academic pressures, social isolation, and financial crisis. The main objectives that focusing through the formation of the club is that to promote the talents in children and to support them to ventilate from their core issues. By engaging in “Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan” there identified the hotspot areas were more childrens are addicted to drugs, porn and mobile. This was identified with the help of the local stakeholders from the community. The formation and functioning of a sustainable club for youth and adolescence will help these targeted persons to share and accept the views, opinions and suggestions of others. Through pure social engaging activities it will help the focused group to deviate from their negative impacts to a better positive branch.
As the mission and vision of the Gulmohar foundations states “To create inclusive physical and virtual spaces that allow Youth to meet and bond with their Communities contribute to civil cohesion and advance Youth cognitive, emotional and social skills”. Gulmohar foundation can support me in organizing the community in achieving the sustainability through various actions and skills. As TGF consists of leaders and mentors of various sectors, their guidance and support will surely help me in fulfilling my dream of creating an organization for children focusing on happiness programs. More than academics we need to focus and put value on the unique talents of each child. It will help them to step in positive path and disallows the chances of negative influences.
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