Dibrugarh:  In its effort to fight drug and other substance addiction among the youth, Miao diocese has opened ‘Auxilium Wellness Centre’, a de-addiction facility for girls and women at Namphai in Arunachal Pradesh’s Changlang district. 

Drug menace is a big problem across Arunachal Pradesh and it feeds on the future prospects of the nation, said Bishop George Pallipparambil of Miao diocese. 

Leading the inaugural function, he said, “It is a dream-come-true project for all the people of Arunachal Pradesh, especially in the eastern part. We hope this facility for girls will not only bring people out of addiction but also contribute to the overall health of the people all over Arunachal Pradesh.”

According to the latest national survey, the districts of Namsai, Lohit, Dibang Valley, Upper Siang, Anjaw, Tirap and West Kameng are said to be among the 272 worst drug-abuse districts in the country. 

Speaking at the function, Ibom Tao, the Additional Deputy Commissioner of Miao, said, “Drug and opium abuse is destroying our society and this centre is a need of the hour because there are so many addicted people here. Merely arresting them and putting them behind bars is not a solution. This wellness centre will be a great blessing and an asset for the people around.”

The Wellness Centre with all the modern facilities has the capacity to treat 45 in-patients for de-addiction.

The centre has also a day-care facility for alternative therapy, sujok therapy, magnet therapy, acupressure therapy and full-body wellness massage therapy available for both men and women. 

Appreciating the Church for this noble effort, Tao said, “Catholic Church wherever it has reached has contributed to the people with education, social service and health care. This centre is also an example of how the Church constantly contributes to society building. Public and district administration should help, support and cooperate to ensure the smooth functioning of this facility.”

The centre has a small dispensary to cater to the medical needs of the people in the neighbouring villages, especially pregnant women and children, including health awareness outreach programme.

Sister Alphonsa Kurisingl, FMA, the provincial superior of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, who will run the facility, said, “With this centre, we commit ourselves to the healing ministry to provide the best care to everyone. Our holistic approach involves working with mind, body and spirit for a complete change in behaviour and attitude that puts patients on the path to a healthy and worthwhile life.”

Expressing happiness over the inauguration of the facility, Nongri Taidong, a public leader from Namphai town said the centre is indeed a blessing for our people. It will bring down the crimes related to drug abuse in our district and beyond. “We hope in the coming days the district administration grants necessary permission to make the centre open also to men,” he said. 

Established to mark the centenary year of the FMA presence in Northeast India, the Auxilium Wellness Centre will be headed by Sister Sudem Basumatary FMA, a trained professional in dealing with addiction, counselling and alternative therapy.

Avik Chakraborty

Avik Chakraborty is Northeast Now Correspondent in Dibrugarh. He can be reached at: babs8oct@gmail.com