For the past 7 years, Nijaat has been an integral part of Dehradun and its surrounding areas, as a pioneer providing, residential rehabilitation, day counseling, awareness campaigns and workshops today being a comprehensive, rehabilitation service treatment center. Changes have occurred and expansion has taken place, adding new areas of client care and we have continually undertaken response to individual and community needs.
In the past, drug abuse and alcoholism were increasingly affecting families throughout the Dehradun district and its surrounding areas. Local specialized treatment facilities were not available, requiring those afflicted to consult allopaths or quacks for treatment and services. This deficiency in community services and resources took a heavy toll on the users and their families alike. Drug and alcohol rehabilitation and counseling were unheard of in the region.
The call for local residential rehabilitation services in the Dehradun area was answered by three likeminded young therapists, Saurabh Malhotra, Ravi Bhatia and Dr. Rehmat, who initially conducted awareness by visiting drug users and alcoholics door to door as they did not have enough funds to offer residential rehab. In 2002, with the assistance of Robert Seth and Steve Chan, who pledged financial support. Nijaat was opened and registered as a nonprofit organization for drug addiction and alcohol counseling and rehabilitation. Residential rehab was started in a three room rented house. That year 58 clients participated in our residential therapy program and over a 100 attended our day counseling sessions. As the needs of Nijaat grew, we responded by moving on to a four roomed rented facility in 2004 and then again to yet another, bigger rented facility in the year 2005.
As the initial five year support term came to an end worries mounted and the challenge was to find a new source of funding to sustain the rehab program. The timely intervention and saving grace came through The Bethany Trust in Thane who is currently the major contributor towards the running of the rehabilitation program today which reaches out to thousands of individuals through its workshops, awareness campaigns and street plays etc. in and around Dehradun, the capital of the state of Uttarakhand, India.
The past seven years have witnessed Nijaat’s pioneering efforts and numerous "firsts." During the formative years, it was the first of its kind to provide residential therapy, and counseling in Dehradun. It also opened a halfway house for those who completed their therapy. Some of the other ‘firsts' for area were targeted intervention among high risk drug users and awareness on HIV/AIDS. Nijaat is also on the State Council for AIDS. The first in the state to arrange an HIV marriage. The first in the area to conduct day counseling sessions, family counseling, conduct workshops in collaboration with the State police department, hold campaigns and workshops in slum areas, schools, govt. and private institutions and in communities.
Over the years Nijaat has overcome several challenges and obstacles. It has been a steward to the communities it serves. From its humble beginnings in three rooms to today's facility. One thing that keeps us charged and focused on maintaining our high standards of service is our firm belief that each individual is special and has the God given right to be treated with compassion, respect and dignity in order break free from the tentacles of addiction . Love, care and concern with an attitude of empathy are the cornerstones and bench marks of Nijaat.