Mumbai Naigaon kolis start campaign to drug uproot menace

Oct 30, 2018, 10:00 IST | Samiullah Khan

Naigaon residents start night patrol rounding up druggies in the area and, one by one, taking them to be admonished in front of their parents

Mumbai Naigaon kolis start campaign to drug uproot menace
Residents caught the addicts and hauled them to their parents

Members of koli society in Naigaon are fed up with the influx of drug addicts in their area. Triggered after the alleged suicide of a young junkie from their society a few days ago, they have decided to catch the menace in their nets, so to speak.

They have started rounding up druggies in the area and, one by one, taking them to be admonished in front of their parents, in a bid to make the elders aware what their kids are up to and work towards putting a stop to it.

Around 400 men and women from Amol Nagar, Parera Nagar, Vijaya Park, Mariyam Nagar, Koliwada and Kuchuda have started patrolling the area at night and have, so far, caught 15-odd drug addicts red-handed. The youths, after being taken to their families, were warned that they would be taken to the police if they were caught again.

Naigaon Koli

Fighting the good fight
A social worker from the area, Ashish Vertak, said, "The population of Naigaon has increased in the past few years and is set to rise further with hundreds of complexes and colonies under construction. While this has brought a lot of people from other parts of the city to stay here, their bad habits have followed too.

"We have seen people sitting by the seashore drinking and getting high at night; many of them are youths from our society. We are simple fisherfolk and don't want such nuisance in our area. Hence, we decided to fight the root of the disease and started communicating with others from the society."

Hundreds of residents have started patrolling the area at night. Pics/Hanif Patel
Hundreds of residents have started patrolling the area at night. Pics/Hanif Patel

The residents have created a WhatsApp group and also formed a sangathan, named Naigaon Koli Vyasanmukti Thalaval. The latter's founder members are Yogesh Bhayandarkar, Mahindra Bhayandarkar, Nivrutti Ghusekar, Satish Koli, Pravin Vartak, Sai Bokale, Nandakumar Vaity, Hemant Holekar, Hemant Masnekar, Sada Godavarikar, and Vijay Vaity.

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Saving the children
Mayur Bhayandarkar,
sangathan member
'Over the past several years, we have seen more and more youths getting addicted to drugs. Through this campaign, we are trying to save our children and make
them aware how narcotics will destroy their lives. If we don't do this, who will? All we want is for them to come out of this rut'

Satish Koli,
founder member of sangathan
'After seeing teenagers fall prey to the habit, we decided to fight to remove this disease from the root. We held discussions with other locals and started this campaign. We are now planning to meet police officers and request them to take strict action against those involved in selling drugs and destroying the future of our children'

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