Advertisement
Tuesday, Oct 26, 2021
Outlook.com

Fixing An Epidemic

In an unusual attempt to curb the spread of AIDS, drug addicts are doled out syringes and needles

Fixing An Epidemic
Fixing An Epidemic
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
It's 8 am and Mangcha gathers the stuff and works to fix his 'breakfast'. His works comprise a brand new disposable syringe and hypodermic needle and the stuff is H4, the purestBurmese heroin, which he fixes in his upper left arm with expert ease. The dose will see the 22-year-old bootlegger-cum-illegal lottery seller through till noon, when he will fix again, this time with friends, before setting off in search of a daily wage of anything between Rs 50 and Rs 200 to help buy the next day's fix and, hopefully, some foodfor his wife and one-year-old baby.

In another part of Churachandpur town, a still groggy-eyed S. Benjamin attends to a group of Manipuri tribal youth who have called at his house. A theologian by training, he patiently gathers their used syringes and needles and replaces them with fresh ones, free of cost. After an early brunch, he rushes to his office where a larger group is waiting to exchange their works. During the day, among other things, Benjamin goes about distributing fresh works to addicts at designated street corners at specified times and even goes hunting absentees and new faces who may or may not do him the'favour' of accepting the freebies.

Ordinarily, in Manipur, the very possession of the works could have landed Mangcha and Benjamin in prison for suspected drug abuse and, possibly, charged under the Narcotics, Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act. But they carry special identity cards which keep both the district police and local vigilantes at bay. Mangcha is one of the 100 'clients', all of them injecting drug users (IDUs), registered with the Society for HIV/AIDS and Lifeline Operation in Manipur (SHALOM), an Australian-funded Christian NGO, with which Benjamin is a counsellor. On August 17, 1995, ChurachandpurSuperintendent of Police L.M. Khaute issued orders that SHALOM clients and staff should not be...

Advertisement

Outlook Newsletters

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Read More from Outlook

LIVE | Aryan Khan Bail: Former AG Mukul Rohatgi To Represent Shah Rukh Khan’s Son In Drugs Case

LIVE | Aryan Khan Bail: Former AG Mukul Rohatgi To Represent Shah Rukh Khan’s Son In Drugs Case

The Mumbai High Court will hear Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan’s bail petition in his arrest by the Narcotics Control Bureau on Oct 3.

Explainer | Why A Lawyer Is Seeking FIR Against NCB's Wankhede For 'Extortion' In Aryan Khan Drugs Case

Explainer | Why A Lawyer Is Seeking FIR Against NCB's Wankhede For 'Extortion' In Aryan Khan Drugs Case

On Monday, a lawyer approached the Mumbai police with a complaint seeking registration of an FIR against Sameer Wankhede and five others for extortion in the drugs-on-cruise case.

Virat Kohli Was Graceful In Defeat, Says Pakistan's Sana Mir

Virat Kohli Was Graceful In Defeat, Says Pakistan's Sana Mir

Former Pakistan women's cricket team captain Sana Mir is floored by Virat Kohli's gesture towards his opponents even after their 10-wicket thrashing in a T20 World Cup clash on Sunday.

Why A Delegation Of Odisha Villagers Met Andhra Pradesh Collector Seeking Protection From 'Harassment'

Why A Delegation Of Odisha Villagers Met Andhra Pradesh Collector Seeking Protection From 'Harassment'

A delegation of elected representatives from 17 villages in the disputed Kotia area in Odisha's Koraput district has accused the state government of ‘harassment'.

Advertisement