Written by Jaspreet Singh
‘Break the nexus of politicians, criminals and bureaucracy to break the chain of drug peddlers’- that’s the belief held by Dr Rajinder Singh (86) and Dr Sahib Singh Advani (84), two old friends who are united by their passion to wean youngsters away from drug abuse and addiction
The duo, which has been serving at the jointly-setup drug de-addiction centres at Baru Sahib in Himachal Pradesh and Cheema village in Sangrur, are now turning their attention to the City Beautiful.
Dr Rajinder Singh is running an OPD at Gurudwara Teg Bahadur in Sector 34, that provides free services to 150 patients a day.
Singh, who retired from armed forces as senior advisor of Psychiatry in 1991, joined Akal Drug De-Addiction and Rehabilitation Centre of Kalgidhar Trust at Baru Sahib in Himachal Pradesh. Advani, who joined the trust as a volunteer in 2008, became great friends with Singh.
Later, Singh and Advani extended their services by setting up their first drug de-addiction centre at village Cheema in Sangrur (Punjab), and later, one at Sirmaur in Himachal Pradesh.
When asked about their synergy at work, Singh said, “Rajinder reads my mind and we both complement each other.” Meanwhile, Rajinder Singh said, “Sahib Singh is an inspiration for me.”
The two friends are encouraging research in the trust to study behaviour of drug addicts and they hope this evaluation will further help in understanding how de-addiction centres can make a difference in the society.
‘’Rangeela Punjab toh nasheela Punjab ban gaya (‘Colourful’ Punjab has become ‘high’ Punjab),” Rajinder Singh laments. He adds that children as young as 8 years of age are also getting into using and consuming drugs. “Most
of them start with smoking and nicotine. We have to protect the children urgently,” Singh adds.