UNODC is cosponsor of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS - UNAIDS
A tribute to Mr. W. Haridutta Singh ("Bocha"), President, SASO
Mr. W. Haridutta Singh Mr. W. Haridutta Singh ("Bocha"), late President of Social Awareness Service Organisation (SASO) was born in 1966 to his parents late Mr. W Prabash Singh and Mrs. W Padma Devi at Wahengbam Leikai, Imphal, Manipur. He was the third of four children and the second son to his parents. He finished his schooling from Don Bosco High School, Chingmeirong, Imphal, Manipur and then went to Guwahati, Assam for his further studies.
It was in the early 1980s that Bocha got into alcohol and later into heroin use, locally known as No.4. He struggled to get out of the clutches of drug use but to no avail till he finally got introduced to Narcotics Anonymous. This proved to be a turning point in his life and he not only recovered but also started taking interest in his business, which flourished. He became a member of SASO in 1993, an NGO set up in 1991 by a group of ex-drug users in Manipur with the objective to highlight the issues of drug use in the community and urge them to respond to drug users with humanity and courage.
Bocha was an active member contributing his time and material resources to bridge the divide between the drug users and the community. He headed SASO as the President for three terms, 2003-04, 2004-05 and then from 2006 till December 26th 2007, when he breathed his last. During his term of Presidentship he contributed immensely in the field of drug use and HIV/AIDS and also worked tirelessly for the betterment of the organization.
He underwent treatment for Hepatitis C virus infection twice but unfortunately both times it was unsuccessful. His doctor had advised him to go for liver transplant, which was a steep goal and he never got a chance to go for it. One of his dreams was to bring about easy availability of medicine for Hepatitis-C affected people either free of cost or at least at an affordable cost.
Bocha joined with others and started the "Treatment Network" for HCV affected patients and the first batch (a group of 3 HCV patients) started treatment from 30th December 2007.
Bocha was a mere 41 years old when he died leaving behind his wife and son. His sudden and untimely demise has left his dream unfulfilled but the members and staff of SASO have taken a vow to continue the good work he started for the cause and to fulfill his dream in the near future. His philanthropy and support to the cause of drug users' rights including HIV, HCV will always be remembered by the members and staff of SASO.
Bocha was sincere and dedicated to his work, which gave uniqueness to his leadership. His considerable efforts as a head of a partner NGO in implementing project
H13 of the UNODC for the benefit of the drug affected people of the North East States of India will always be remembered.
The UNODC Regional Office for South Asia joins Bocha's family and friends in mourning a friend and able partner in our work in the region.