On March, 2018, on the auspicious occasion of GudiPadwa, Spandan Holistic Mother-and-Childcare Hospital in Deonar organised a successful de-addiction programme in the nearby slum in Sathe Nagar in collaboration with a local organisation. It was attended by a large number of people from the slum ─ children and youth, parents, and local community leaders. The programme, which was held on a specially constructed stage at a public place near the main entrance to the slum, lasted nearly four hours. It began at 7.30 pm and ended close to midnight. Through the medium of inspiring speeches, songs, dances and skits, it succeeded in conveying the message of making Sathe Nagar ‘Nasha-Mukt’ – addiction-free. It also educated the people about how to deal with the mental health issues in the community, which give rise to addiction to drugs, alcohol, tobacco, domestic violence and other problems. These problems are rampant these days in the slum communities in Mumbai. Accordingly, the doctors from Spandan Hospital and a young activist from Sathe Nagar, Shri Ashok, working under the guidance of our chairman Dr. Praful Barvalia, came up with the idea of having a programme on Gudi Padwa on making Sathe Nagar ‘Nasha-Mukt’. The planning of the programme was done by Ashok, Dr.Bishnoo Behra,Dr. Rahul Suryavanshi and Prithvi Kulkarni. Dr Barvalia described the purpose of establishing the Spandan Hospital in partnership with the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM), and assured that the hospital is committed to expand its outreach activities in Sathe Nagar to make it an Ideal Community. He praised the initiative taken by Ashok and his team in creating awareness about many social problems in the community. Dr. Rahul Suryavanshi explained how the community should take care of the victims of addiction with compassion, understanding and patience. Others who spoke on the occasion were Sudheendra Kulkarni, president of the hospital, and Smt a local community leader. The program began with cultural performances, which attracted a large crowd. Children and youth from Sathe Nagar performed several group dances. Activists of the Naujawan Bharat Sabha (an organisation inspired by Shaheed Bhagat Singh) sang a revolutionary song in Hindi. Shahir Sunil Sathe, who is a well-known singer from Sathe Nagar itself, presented songs in Marathi in praise of the great social reformer Lahuji Raghoji Salve and renowned poet Lokshahir Annabhau Sathe, both of whom are highly revered by the Matang Samaj that resides in Sathe Nagar. One performance that stole the show was a solo stand-up comedy by a local 12-year-old boy named Harshad. The cultural programme ended with a play on de-addiction, imaginatively written and enacted by the local youth. Its slogan “Band Kara band kara nashabaazi band kara” was a fitting finale to the entire programme.

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