‘Udta Parsi’ Hits Home!

Dear Editor,

Your article ‘Udta Parsi’ (June 25) was extremely timely. We, who live in the suburbs and not in colonies, probably had not realized this until we heard representatives of ZYNG make a presentation to FPZAI and mention it.
I’ve seen firsthand the evil effects of drugs – when our Catholic neighbor’s son, studying in the same school as my son, got addicted. He resorted to asking my son for small amounts of money. Then, emboldened, he gave my wife false but a very convincing sob story of how his parents were mistreating him, not allowing him to further his studies, that he needed money to pay tuition, etc. My wife took pity on him and gave him larger sums of money on several occasions, feeling angry at the boy’s parents for neglecting their child.

I was unaware of the ongoings till one day when my wife was in the Society foyer talking to other women,and one of them mentioned that this boy suffered from a severe drug problem. It was then that my wife realized what was going on and told me too. I guided her into extricating herself from the emotional blackmail and stop giving money because that would add to his problem. We contemplated talking to his parents but they were already aware and trying hard to tackle it.

Some months later we heard that after failing to rehabilitate their son, who regularly escaped from the rehabilitation centre, our neighbours migrated to Dubai with him. They returned two years later and were relieved to inform me that their son had finally given up drug habit in the changed environment and was now an MBA.

I am writing this true story to reinforce the thrust of your article that parents need to get away from denial, consciously look for, recognize and address the drug problem in their children; that dealing with an addict child is no simple matter, that the family must be prepared to understand how to sensitively deal with this issue, and even be prepared to uproot itself from its settled lifestyle in order to save their child.

Khurshed Pastakia

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