The Secretary Dr (Smt) Veena Chhotray accompanied with Mr Ashish Kumar DDG (Disability) visited Shillong from 31st Oct to 2nd November 2007. The NE Coordinator, UNODC Dr Pushkar Singh called on the Secretary on the 31st evening on her arrival at the Raj Bhawan and provided her with 'One pagers' on all the UNODC Drug and HIV related projects. The Secretary inaugurated a Seminar on disabilities on the morning of 1st November and visited the UNODC, Shillong Office and other drug related project sites in the afternoon. She arrived at the UNODC at 1500h and was received by the coordinator and
Dr (Smt) Veena Chhotray being welcomed at UNODC Shillong Office
introduced to colleagues Dr Joyce Angami and Ms Laetitia Mukhim Jones. She was presented with a bamboo made bag containing IEC material etc which has been provided by UNODC to peer educators. The significance of the 'I Decide' badges popularized through
project G 86 was also explained to her. The NE Coordinator thereafter briefed the Secretary through a comprehensive presentation on the World drug situation, India specific situation and the effects of drugs specifically related to the North Eastern States of India. The linkages between drugs and HIV and special problems of women and children drug abuse; feminization of the HIV epidemic was discussed. She requested for a copy of the presentation and graciously shared the new thinking of the Ministry related to revision of the De-addiction scheme as also the planning to introduce women specific rehabilitation centres keeping in mind the problems faced by their children also.
The field visits started at 1530h with the 'Drop in centre' of
project I 49 run by Manbha Foundation where the Secretary was received by the Director Dr Rica Lamar and introduced to the SHG members and viewed the products - artificial flowers and Christmas cards which were being made. Women IDUs shared their problems and conveyed their happiness at having a small safe haven in the I 49 DIC which has enabled them to deal with their varied problems and face life with new found hope. The members presented small bouquets of artificial flowers to the visitors. The Secretary was then escorted to the
Project H 13 'DIC' where she was received by the project manager Mary. She met with the staff consisting of the Nurse, outreach workers and counsellor and interacted with the male IDU clients. She enquired into their problems and two of them shared their story of drug usage for many years and then the tortuous rehab sessions and finally how the project staff helped them to stay clean and their assimilation as Peer Outreach Workers in the H 13 project. They also explained how they are now reaching out to their peers in the community who are abusing drugs in an effort to make them change and that they have succeeded in changing the lives of 10 of their friends who are now clean.
The next visit was to the New Hope De-addiction centre whish is funded by the Ministry. The Director Ms Cordelia received the Secretary and briefed her on the functioning of the centre and explained the path to recovery. The Secretary went around the centre met the staff and interacted with the 17 clients who were undergoing treatment. The visitors were presented with gifts as a token of remembrance of their visit to the centre
A CD containing a copy of the presentation along with photographs of her visit was given to the Secretary. She expressed her satisfaction with her visits to various sites and thanked the NE Coordinator and the UNODC staff for a successful visit.