Chanchal (pseudonym) had been addicted to drugs since his college life. Because of this, he had to leave the college just before stepping into the second year. But later, he got admitted into a college in Dhaka as fresher.
He said, “My life is unstable. Nothing is fixed. However my friends and I formed a band. We joined a band competition and reached the finals.”
The tale of the rising singer is full of darkness as narcotics gripped his life. Now he is well. Not only Chanchal but a good number of addicts also returned to the normal life with the help of the anti-drug campaign of Prothom Alo Trust.
The Trust arranges programmes every month with a view to counseling and assisting the drug-addicted people so that they can defeat their addiction.
Till now, a total of 141 meetings have been organised, including 21 during the Covid-19 pandemic. Drug-addicted people and their families are allowed to attend the event.
Back to the Chanchal story. In 2000, the singer went to a medical college campus outside Dhaka to sing and fell in love with a girl there, but she rejected him.
Chanchal turned to drugs out of frustration. He tried his best to persuade the girl and she finally responded. They even got married. But Chanchal couldn’t stop his drug habit.
“I have realised the effects of drug addiction severely. When my wife was admitted into the hospital to have our child, my mother was waiting for me there. But I just briefly dropped in then rushed off to my drugs,” he lamented.
Chanchal is well now after undergoing treatment for several years. He said “The anti-drug campaign of Prothom Alo has offered me a new life. At this moment, I realised that drugs destroy human feelings.”
“Family support is essential for an addicted person to overcome this vicious circle. Again, I want to say that I have returned to my home with the help of Prothom Alo.”
Chanchal is working at a private company after completing his studies. There are many people who have stories to tell like him.
Associate professor of National Institute of Mental Health physician Ahmed Helal said, "Drugs should not be neglected at all. Anyone can become addicted to drugs after trying it once or twice."
The anti-drug campaign of Prothom Alo Trust launched its journey on 1 May 2003 to free youth from the curse of drugs.
Along with open discussions, anti-drug rallies and concerts, every year the trust organises anti-drug sticker design competitions for children, the best anti-drug reporting award for journalists and different kinds of events at school and universities to grow anti-drug awareness among the students.
*This report appeared in the print and online edition of Prothom Alo and has been rewritten in English by NH Sajjad.