Muktangan was started 22 years ago in 1986. My friend’s son had taken to drugs when he was studying at an engineering college in Kolhapur. My wife who treated him for a while sent him to Sassoon Hospital. He was sent back because they said they had no facility to treat him. I used to go for walks with this boy and his case proved to be an eye-opener. I learnt that not only the rich, but even the poorest are addicted to something or the other. I wrote a series of articles in a leading Marathi daily which shocked the readers. Late Pu La Deshpande asked me to do something for addicts. As Sassoon did not accept such patients, my wife suggested we start a centre of our own.
But you did not have any training to start such a centre
I raised the same query with my wife. She said, "We will learn from our patients." We started Muktangan.
How many addicts in Muktangan so far?
The centre has treated about 16,000 addicts in 22 years. At any given time we have 100 to 125 addicts in the centre. They are kept for 35 days and some patients became our volunteers after their treatment.
What has Muktangan given you?
The biggest thing is the joy of sharing and all have benefited from it. Moreover, the enriching experience as through the kaleidoscope of human life and the confidence that each human can change for the better has given me a sense of fulfilment.