Mehtaab Singh (24), a post-graduate in computer applications, was the main attraction at a district-level rally on drug awareness at Muktsar organised by the district legal services authority( DLSA) on May 27. Once a drug addict, Mehtaab talks of his transformation into a short story writer in Punjabi and Urdu.
“In 2009, I enrolled for BCA (bachelor of computer applications) in a Moga college. There, I met a few boys from Dalewala village where drugs were available freely. Soon, from beer and liquor, I graduated to to poppy husk and I became addicted to it,” said Mehtaab at one of his seminars. “I started failing in my studies. Out of the 24 subjects in the three-year course, I had to appear for supplementary exams in 22.”
But in 2012, Mehtaab lost a friend to drugs. It was a warning sign that Mehtaab heeded. With support from his mother and coach Gurmeet Singh, he was able to fight his desires to return to substance abuse.
“Coach Gurmeet Singh helped me a lot. He diverted all my energy into sports. He used to make me run, cycle and even walk daily. My mother made sure I had enough nutrition in my system to support this gruelling regime. Within eight to nine months of starting my training, I was a much healthier man,” he said.
With his drug habit a thing of the past, Mehtaab could focus on his academics once again. “I completed my BCA successfully after clearing all supplementary papers. I took up MCA and cleared it with 86 per cent marks. Now, I am looking at a PhD,” he said.
He is also literary secretary with NGO Guru Gobind Singh Study circle which works for de-addiction and regularly motivates patients. He said, “Earlier I used to be reluctant. But now I show them my photos as well as how I used to look when I was an addict. Perhaps my sharing can improve someone else’s life.”