Within many rural communities around India, problems exist within families. They include those related to the widespread consumption of alcohol and alcoholism. These incidents were aggravated after the tsunami of 2004.
Here a free counselling service was set up, with three main target areas: families, alcoholism, and TB. The success and popularity of the counselling has lead to the continuity of this service as it is apparent that many villagers are benefiting from this scheme. The counselling has recently been extended to cater for other problems such as AIDS and HIV infection. Held at the Uluru Health Care Centre (UHCC), the counselling is provided by experienced community social workers employed by the Foundation.
A success story:
Mr. Ram, aged 45, is a local fisherman living in Alamparai. For the past 25 years, he was dependent on alcohol. Every day, he would walk to the nearby village to purchase his supply of home-made and hence dangerous, palm liquor. He started coming to UHCC for counselling in April 2008. One day on his walk home, he fell and hit his head. He was referred to Pondicherry Government Hospital for treatment. When he returned from Pondicherry, however, he turned back to alcohol to ease his pain. He then resumed counselling with the TEWFI social worker. Family counselling, motivation, education and relaxation methods were all used. Five sessions, as well as around twenty home visits later, Mr. Ram and his family realised the dangers associated with alcohol. He has not had a drink since.
The name of the patient featured has been changed to protect his identity.