Meet the BMC man who's hooked on fighting addiction

Subhash Dalvi, who works with the civic solid waste department, dedicates his spare time to helping other government employees kick their smoking, drinking, and tobacco-chewing habits; he conducts seminars and often pays for the sessions himself

A BMC officer by day and an anti-addiction crusader by night, Subhash Dalvi is a cape-less vigilante whose entire life seems to be dedicated to fighting waste. Dalvi, a Special Duty Officer from the civic body’s Solid Waste department, uses most of his spare time trying to prevent others from wasting away their lives.

Subhash Dalvi holds a seminar for BMC workers from the G/North ward
Subhash Dalvi holds a seminar for BMC workers from the G/North ward

After work and on weekends, the Vile Parle resident visits the police and traffic police departments, various BMC offices and even colleges, and encourages people to get rid of addictions such as chewing tobacco, smoking, and drinking. Dalvi says he approaches the heads of these departments and then collaboratively organises seminars.

Officers from the Worli Traffic police take an oath to get rid of their addictions
Officers from the Worli Traffic police take an oath to get rid of their addictions

Sometimes, to reach a wider audience, he conducts these seminars at auditoriums and halls and personally bears the expense for booking these places. He has been doing this for nearly four years.

Emotional approach
The seminars are usually interactive ones. He starts asking audience members questions about why they are hooked on the substances and, once a rapport is built, he uses the ‘emotional’ tool.

“I ask them whom they love the most and follow it up with how much they spend on the substance they are addicted to every day. After they state a particular amount, I ask them to multiply it with the number of days in a month, in a year, and in a few years. The realisation that they are wasting such a huge amount of money usually shocks them,” says Dalvi.

“And then I ask them, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if you could use the money to benefit your loved ones? At times, people realise the impact that their habits are having on their family and loved ones, and they break down and cry,” he added.

In the end, though, the seminars and meetings conclude on a happy note, with the realisation of the harmful effects of such substances hitting audience members hard. “At the end of the seminar, I ask them to take an oath to stay away from such substances,” said Dalvi.

Thank you, Mr Dalvi

Chandrakant Mohite, a worker with the BMC’s R/South ward
I used to be a regular drinker. Dalvi’s seminar made me realise how much harm I am causing not just to my own health, but to my family as well.

A policeman from the Worli Traffic Police department, who kicked his tobacco chewing habit in 2012
When I met Dalvi, the realisation that my habit was doing a lot of harm dawned on me. I am feeling so much better and livelier because I have finally managed to beat my addiction.

Rajesh Solanki, who works in the same BMC department as Dalvi
I had tried quitting tobacco once, but it just felt like an impossible task. After listening to Dalvi, however, I felt confident that I could quit. After kicking the habit six months ago, I went through withdrawal initially and used to be irritated and agitated all the time. But, now I feel relaxed.

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