A workshop on “Saying NO to Drugs” was conducted for 8th Graders on Tuesday, October 3, 2017.  The workshop was conducted by Mr. Bryan Cardoz, Founder of the Freedom Faith Centre at Badlapur. Apart from acting as a halfway destitute home, the centre also works as a de-addiction and rehabilitation centre for people recovering from any type of drug addiction and alcohol related issues.

Mr. Cardoz quickly connected with the students by sharing his own personal experience with gutkha, smoking and drug addiction during his growing years, and how he looked towards spirituality to free himself from the jaws of addiction.  His advice to the students was to be mentally and physically strong and lean towards spirituality which will always guide them on the right path. Keeping it simple and coming down to the level of the teenagers, he explained that “EGO” stands for “Edging God Out”. He also said that “HOW” the acronym for “Honesty, Open-mindedness and Willingness” has helped him overcome his own addiction and understand the difficulties faced by many in society who deal with situations in life from which they wish to run away.

He asked students not to resort to any form of bullying and to stay away from company that do not enrich their lives. His advice on proper use of technology and the need to take the right steps during their formative years struck a chord with the students. While praising the school for its cleanliness and emphasis on spirituality, Mr. Cardoz asked the children to be thankful for the bountiful opportunities life has provided them by way of a happy family, good school and friends. The students freely asked questions on how to desist from using bad words and abusing others, and charting out a disciplined life, which were answered by Mr. Cardoz.

Principal Brni. Rekha also spoke about the selfless work carried out by the members of the centre and shared her wonderful experience while visiting the centre. She also gave a cheque for Rs. 5,000 to the members of Freedom Faith. She called upon student volunteers to hand over 65 kg of rice, 5 kg of poha, moong dal, soya chunks and clothes which were collected during the course of the year under the various Amritam Projects. The school has also donated 85 kg and 70 kg of rice during the months of July and August as part of the Sevamritam drive.

Mr. Cardoz thanked the school for their generosity. The workshop ended with the chanting of Shanti Mantra.