MANISH SAINI, now 38, was 29 when he got hooked to ‘chitta’ (heroin). He lost money worth lakhs, got involved in liquor smuggling and his wife left him.
Today, not only is he drug-free, he works as a manager at a shop selling raw material for the hosiery industry in Shivpuri, earning Rs 12,000 per month. He has also managed to pull ten others out of addiction.
Speaking about his days as an addict, Manish says he was very attached to his elder brother. “When he passed away in an accident nine years ago, I was very shaken. It started with drinking, and then drugs. At that time I owned two cars, had around Rs 10 lakh in my bank account and a house worth around Rs 12 lakh. But slowly, I lost a lot of money as well as other things. Within a few years, I was left with nothing. My life was ruined. I was becoming weak and I felt like I had only a few years left,” he recalls.
Struggling to make ends meet, Manish got involved in liquor smuggling. “I got influenced because it was easy money. I used to earn around 15,000 a day. Of that I used to spend nearly Rs 10,000 on drugs. My wife soon left me because of my addiction,” he says.
The one person who tried to pull Manish out of the abyss, was his mother Sudesh. In August 2017, she took him to a drug de-addiction centre at Civil Hospital, Ludhiana, where he was admitted for 3 weeks. They treated him free of cost.
“It was really my will power and my mother’s determination that helped me get out of it. Now one and a half years have passed and I have not touched drugs. I helped ten of my friends check into a in de-addiction centre. I don’t feel ashamed of telling my story of addiction. I often tell people because, perhaps it will motivate them,” said Manish.