India is battling increasing number of drug addiction cases almost every day. Addiction and substance abuse do not just affect the person, but – to an extent – the entire family; so much so that they also become subjected to isolation and end up suffering themselves.
It is important that in such cases, mass awareness camps are held to enlighten people about the destroying effects of getting addicted. But, because people become reclusive and hesitate to talk about their addiction problems, they may continue to suffer. An Android mobile application called Sehyog aims to help addicts and victims in recognising, understanding and fighting their issues anonymously. Shagun Goel, a 12th standard student of Delhi Public School, RK Puram, designed the app that primarily focuses on the addictions of gambling, smoking, gutka addiction, and domestic violence and alcoholism.
Goel recently volunteered with Society for Promotion of Youth and Masses, a non-profit organisation that supports people trying to recover from addiction and substance abuse. He closely observed and interacted with people who has been battling addiction and in the meanwhile, lost a lot. “I also watched the movie Udta Punjab around this time. That triggered me to make this app,” he said.
He says the most important problem that people deal with is the isolation by the society. So, he designed Sehyog in such a way that people can talk to others, who are dealing with the same kind of problems, get sound and helpful advice from others and even, engage in personal and/or group conversations with these people. It is like the members of a community who understand each other better than anyone else ever will.
The app has four features:
Diary: Each day, when you open the app, you will be asked whether you relapsed yesterday or not.
Forum: It is an online discussion platform where you can ask any questions you have or ask for any specific advice you want.
Group: This feature lets you select a list of users, and then anybody can send messages to the group that other members will be able to see and reply to.
Information: This feature contains information about each of the issues on which Sehyog focuses.
Goel chose to reach out to people through a mobile app because he believes that smartphones are currently the most accessible and efficient forms of technology. Though, he says the response to the app has been fairly positive, he is looking forward to add more user-friendly features to the app.