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Change Begins from Home

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Change Begins from Home

The Happy Project trains the youth about substance abuse, the ill effects that substance abuse causes to the human body and how to avoid getting addicted to alcohol, tobacco and other addictive substances. Tobacco causes 1 death every 6 seconds yet India is the second leading consumer. Of the more than 6 million tobacco-related deaths every year across the world, one-sixth occur in India alone. Experts see the total tobacco-related deaths rising to 8 million by 2030.The objective of the program is to prevent adolescents from getting addicted and leading a healthy lifestyle. The “Each 1 Teach 1” methodology introduces a new way of spreading this grass roots movement via word of mouth. The batch of 2018 completed their champions training with an extremely positive outlook on the program and also received an exceptionally great feedback of the sessions and activities planned for the course.

Krunal who hails from Malwani, Malad (w) is one of the champions that completed the course and this is his story of how he put his knowledge from the course into action in real life.

Krunal was a young member of the 2018 Champions who was an enthusiastic learner. Inspired by the training and armed with the newly acquired knowledge he wanted to put his learnings into action. He started engaging with community members, people he saw daily and explained to them the ill effects of chewing tobacco. Tobacco chewing and smoking are the most common causes of cancer in the youth and Krunal understood this dynamic. This was not only an external problem that he saw, the issue was close to home for him.

From early childhood Krunal had seen his dad use tobacco. After he started engaging with members of the community he realized that he had to start at home. To him if he could do this then it would make it much easier to engage people outside of home. It seemed like a win-win situation. He started telling his dad about the program he had completed with The Happy Project and what he had learned about substance abuse. He urged his father to give up his gutka habit which was causing nothing but harm to his own health .His father like many other addicted individuals ignored Krunal’s advice. After all Krunal was just a young boy who was just learning ways of the world.

One day his father came to school for a PTA meeting. While he was talking to the teacher he learnt that Krunal had been quite disturbed for the past few weeks. The teacher tried to enquire as to why this might be but his father had no idea. Both the adults then decided to ask Krunal about any problems that he might have in school or studies. Krunal could not contain his sorrow and broke down into tears. After he was able to compose himself he explained to the teacher that he had tried really hard to enlighten his father of the ill effects of tobacco use but his father paid no heed to this and ignored him. Not only had his father ignored his that but his father had gutka in his mouth as they spoke. Embarrassed on learning the reason for his son’s dejection, Krunal’s father promised him and his teacher that he will that he will quit his gutka habit. This was Krunal’s first step to a successful Each 1 Teach 1 and we look forward to many more from the enlightened youth.