An Alcoholic Anonymous group with about fifty members has been holding their meetings twice a week for the past twenty years at St. Agnes Campus – in the present St. Agnes CBSE School Hall. However, it was when Sr. Maria Jyotsna was transferred from Lourdes Convent, Bangalore to St. Agnes Convent that we had the impetus to go forward with greater support to this group than just granting permission to hold their meetings. With her experience of conducting large group Annual Camps for the AA members with a view to inviting and involving addicts from across South India to be a part of the AA Group, she offered to take up the camps at St. Agnes Campus. The first such camp with a hundred participants was held in May 2019 but due to the Corona Pandemic Lockdown it had to be suspended in 2020. The AA Meetings too could be recommenced only in December 2020 and in the mean time some of them had slipped back to the addiction.

On 14th March, 2021 a De-addiction Awareness Programme was held at St. Agnes with a view to motivating the existing members and to invite more addicted persons, as well as to announce the forthcoming ten-day camp in May 2021. Around ninety, including ten women, participated in the programme. The camps are managed fully by the de-addicted senior members in every respect. Our role as organizers is to provide space and facilities which St. Agnes did under the leadership of Sr. Jyotsna. The community assisted in getting the facilities ready and seeing to the expenditure of the camp towards food and other needs.

The Programme commenced with the Inaugural consisting of the Paryer Song by the sisters and lighting of the lamp by Chief Guest, Sr. Lydia, the Superior, Sr. Jyotsna, the Organizer and the leaders of the AA Group. The Chief Guest called on God’s plentiful blessings on them and assured the support of our community. Two leaders among the de-addicted highlighted the benefits of moving away from the addiction as they have done. Four other members shared their personal experiences of the joy, happiness and need to be de-addicted by becoming a part of the AA Group. Games were conducted by Sr. Janet Sequeira and prizes were distributed. Breakfast, lunch and tea was an essential part of the day’s programme. This day’s programme held as a pre-view to the residential ten-day Camp in May ended with a sharing session in the afternoon.

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