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About the initiative

TOI identified widespread narcotics and substance abuse in Punjab as the biggest issue in the state, affecting all communities. The problem was magnified by social stigma, leading to addicts and families trying to suppress problems leading to overdose deaths and relapses. TOI initiative aimed at asking addicts to come forward, and share their problems as the first step to recovery. The addict is helpless, isolated, feeling like no one understands. Only at rock bottom will they seek help. This insight was leveraged across touchpoints. Our key thought was to convey to addicts a sense of – ‘You are not alone’ – and there are others at hand to help and guide you. In this endeavour, TOI partnered with Narcotics Anonymous, allowing addicts to receive counselling from over 1400 reformed addicts.

The Bol Daal initiative received over 13,000 pledges. Principally children in their teenage years – who promised to work towards a drug-free society. But the real win was calls to narcotics anonymous (NA) went up from 2 per day to 10-12 per day. Ins other words; the initiative now saved 10 lives/day.

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