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Heroin Addicts Chained For Cure

also makes it mandatory for the parents of inmates to be present at the frequent therapy 'fellowship' sessions to demonstrate their involvement. The parents' wishes are unconditionally obeyed by all, Dousel added.

Dousel has 'treated' over 1,700 addicts since 1987. And though their subsequent progress had not been monitored, independent observers believed their recidivist rate was low.

Addicts go 'cold turkey'upon being admitted to the wooden home that is built around a small courtyard lined with dormitories and 'activity stations'.

Their day begins at 5.30 a.m. with church service, gospel classes and choir practice. Noodle making, sewing and work on building a new wooden chapel and a massive underground water storage facility follow.

Football, the most favored activity and the only one - besides bathing - for which the chains are removed, accounts for the afternoon.

Daily practice sessions have led to the home's team winning the district's senior division football league on several occasions.

Monthly charges for each inmate are Rs.2,000 but around a third, too destitute but horribly addicted, are admitted free.

Some are even permitted to keep their wives and children with them but the women live separately with the Dousel family.

Human rights organizations initially filed cases against Dousel soon after he launched his distinctive programme. But the inmates' parents rose collectively to his defence, neutralizing criticism and paying lawyers to defend him. The cases are pending.

Dousel strictly prohibits his home or any of its inmates being photographed as all such publicity has led to NGOs filing human rights abuse cases against him.

The home's popularity, however, has grown with Dousel having to turn away addicts. Consequently, three similar detoxification centres, where all inmates are chained, have sprung up in the town and house around 150 addi
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