Helping alcoholics - One day at a time
"I had come home drunk. And I started drinking again. 'I'm going to call Aamir Khan,' I said. I dialled the number on the show and someone picked up the phone and began talking to me. Actually, it was the AA helpline number."
" I started crying. I said to myself, enough is enough. No more alcohol."
" Once during a meeting a man was talking about himself. I totally identified with him. I was like, how does he know my story?"
These are all voices of recovering alcoholics. After watching the Satyamev Jayate episode on alcohol abuse, they dialled the helpline for Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), which was flashed on TV, and from then, there was no looking back. The organization says the impact of this has been phenomenal and being featured on Satyamev Jayate is regarded as one of the biggest awareness campaigns in the history of the AA.
According to reports prepared by AA, their helpline received 1,200 calls within the first minute of its number being shown. Through that day, they received 36,000 calls. Suffering and recovering alcoholics, as well as the family members of alcoholics called asking for help.
This staggering response helped form 18 new AA groups in states such as Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Chhattisgarh, to name a few. A team of AA members helped local residents in many cities to conduct regular meetings and introduce the recovery programme. Today, more than two years after the issue was discussed, AA has helped over 3 lakh people fight alcoholism.