New Delhi: Drug addiction has become a fatal disease for millions of people who are victimized by it nationwide. Due to lack of proper consultation, their condition is deteriorating day by day. In order to help these people, Shagun Goel, a 12th-grade student and Head Boy of Delhi Public School RK Puram, has developed a mobile application called ‘Sehyog’ which will help treat this problem.
Shagun said that this app gives a platform to drug addicts where they can have a discussion or ask for advice anonymously.
India has an estimated 3.4 million drug abuse victims. Out of these, a mere 0.3 million have registered themselves in these de-addiction centers, which is just 10% of the total figure.
There is a lot of social stigma attached to addicts and victims. Consequently, the vast majority of these victims are not able to find the courage to seek help from the concerned authorities, for fear of the response they will get, and the way they will be treated.
Shagun said that the idea of the app came to him when he visited his native village near Karnal in Haryana. He said, "I was with my grandparents and we started talking about the movie, Udta Punjab. That's when I realized that drug abuse was all around me. My curiosity then took me to my close friends in Punjab. That visit changed everything and I started researching on how to deal with the menace."
Shagun feels that an app can have more impact than Self Help Groups now when everyone is hooked to smartphones. With the help of this app, drug victims can recognize, understand and fight the drug related issues.” He also added that the most distinguishing feature of the Sehyog platform is its anonymity - no user has to reveal their identity for any discussions, thereby eliminating any social stigma and allowing users to share their experiences freely.
Shagun has been very technologically inclined since his childhood; hence he decided to find a technology based solution to deal with the problem. He collected lots of information about drug addiction by talking to the victims at different de-addiction centers before building the app to make sure it had all the relevant features.
Forum: The forum is an online discussion platform where you can ask any questions you have or ask for any specific advice you want. The forum is divided into various categories, each representing a different issue.
Group: Groups are very similar in functionality to chat groups. If you’ve been impressed by the knowledge and advice that some user has been imparting on the forum, then perhaps you wish to converse with him personally. What do you do? Make a group with him. Perhaps you wish to set up a group where people suffering from the same problem share their stories with each other (similar to an Alcoholics Anonymous’ meeting group). What do you do? Make a group with these users.
Diary: The Sehyog diary functions much like a normal diary. Each day, when you open the app, you will be asked whether you relapsed yesterday or not. The answers you give shall be recorded and this entire record will be available to you. This will help you to understand if your self-restraint and your condition are getting better or not.
Information: The information section, as the name suggests, contains information about each of the issues on which Sehyog focuses. It contains information about the effects of these problems, about how to recognize these issues, and about how to fight against these issues. Recognizing the problem and understanding the need to fight against the problem is as necessary as fighting the problem.
With the help of this Sehyog, Shagun feels that drug abuse victims not only will be able to recognize this disease but also understand and fight this problem. They will live a normal life with their loved ones once again.