During personal contact the children
were sometimes rejected, refused entry, threatened and even slapped
and pushed out. But still their tenacity and spirit to strive
never ebbed. Their heroic efforts reflect an incredible will and
sentiment to serve society. We present some of the efforts and
experiences of children:
A team of child
volunteers approached a man in Surat. After explaining the
toxic and cancerous
effects of smoking the man confessed, "After giving up
addictions twice I started again. But this time I want to
resolve to give it up once and for all." The leader of
the group, Bhavesh told him, "Uncle, the last two times
you had relied on your own strength but this time you will
have the strength of God and his holy Sadhu." The man
then took his five-year old son in his lap, placed his hand
on his child's head and pledged never to smoke. On seeing
this his wife became emotional and expressed, "Pramukh
Swami has saved my child from becoming an orphan."
- A group of girls in Amdavad approached
a Nepali called Mohan Roy. For 25 years he has been
a hard-core addict habituated to smoking, chewing tobacco, drinking
and other vices. When the girls explained to him he replied,
"I am working at the Civil Hospital and each day I see
the sufferings of cancer patients."
"Then why haven't you given up?" the girls enquired.
"Because I like it," he replied.
After the girls debated with him for thirty-five minutes he
said, "I am an atheist but on seeing your effort I promise
I'll give it up gradually."
- In Vadodara, a team of boys from
Vadi Mandal saw a man bathing outside his hovel, intoxicated
with liquor. When they explained to him to give up his habit,
he angrily threw his bucket at them. The children retreated
for a while and prayed to God to bless him with a change of
conscience. And surprisingly, the man repented for his action,
called the children and apologized to them and pledged to give
up his drinking habit altogether.
- Two teenage volunteers, Mayur
and Suraj of Maninagar, Amdavad, entered a slum area. They
asked a man whether he had any addictions. The man, Vagh Fakirchand
Kachrachand, replied that he had all types of addictions. When
Mayur started explaining its fatal effects, Fakirchand exploded
angrily and slapped him and told him to get out. But Mayur remained
resolute and started explaining again. Fakirchand succumbed
to Mayur's unflagging spirit and listened to what he had to
say. Eventually he bowed before Mayur, apologised and pledged
not only to give up liquor but also to close down his four small
breweries. Fakirchand also vowed to inspire others to give up
- Many boys were blatantly and violently
rejected during their mission. Ronak was branded on his
arm with a cigarette. A tobacco addict threw tobacco powder
in the eyes of Viral and a liquor bottle was thrown at Jignesh.
At Nadiad, a pan-shop owner heaped curses and slapped the boys.
In Surat a female addict threw a cooking pot at a girl and drew
blood. Despite all this, the boys and girls did not flinch from
- Artha Vin, an 11 year old boy
of Maninagar, Amdavad, went up boldly to five pan-shops at Kankaria
and addressed the proprietors, "Why are you trading in
death? Do you know how much damage and destruction you are causing?
Are you Yamraj?" The pan-shop owners were taken aback by
the strict words of the boy. Artha explained that to earn their
living they were dispensing pain and death to thousands. Out
of the five pan-shops, three proprietors vowed to close their
business and find alternative means to earn their bread and
one said that he would try to close it down. When the boys asked
how they would earn their living, they replied, "We will
sell peanuts, grams and chocolates, but we will not trade in
- Ankit Thakkar of Amdavad approached
a man running a mini-wheel ride for children. On learning
that he had an addiction for liquor, Ankit explained to him
but in a flush of anger the man began cursing and abusing. "Because
of my addiction to liquor I have killed my wife and children.
Now go away from here. The vociferous mini-wheel ride owner
attracted the attention of pedestrians. One bystander told the
children to go away. But Ankit remained determined in his mission.
He told the man that he was incurring damage on his own body.
On further elaborating, Ankit humbly requested him to give up
the addiction for his own sake. And finally the man submitted
and pledged to shake off his habit.
- Chirag Patel of Surat appealed
to his grandfather who had come from Amdavad. He was impressed
by his grandson's presentation and gave up his 60 year old addiction
- A seasoned tobacco user in Amdavad
was tremendously impressed by the anti-addiction presentation
from one group of girls. After pledging to abstain from his
30 year old addiction to tobacco he said, "All these years
I have turned a deaf ear to my parent's exhortations. My wife
and children told me to give it up but I paid no heed to them.
But today, I felt that through you God was telling me to give
it up. And I feel from within that I should give up my addiction."
The girls prayed for his resolve and freed him from a 30 year
- Bhagwat Patel of Vadodara went
to a slum area and approached an Ismaili. He was an addict to
marijuana and said, "I also supply marijuana in this area,
now what will you do?" Bhagwat boldly explained to him
and eventually he vowed to give it up altogether.