Though many young people start off with illicit substances as a form of recreation or due to peer pressure, youth aged 18–35 among low-income groups get addicted to alcohol, smoking, or illicit drugs to cope with unemployment, trauma, fill the void due to the loss of a loved one, or escape neglect and abuse.

Recovery from substance abuse is a journey of renewal & rebirth with a willingness to work for sobriety.To overcome tough days to stay sober and learn to say 'NO' to alcohol, smoking, and drug abuse, SEESHA organized sensitization campaigns under the theme 'New Year, New You!' in its target project communities.

Several awareness programmes, namely art competitions, rallies, signature campaigns, pledges, film shows, and skits, emphasising the concept of 'No Drugs, No Alcohol, Be Smoke Free, Live Substance Free' were conducted across SEESHA project locations.

NEW YEAR, NEW YOU: Towards a Sober, Fuller Life!
Here are the highlights of the events in different locations:
1. Mumbai:

Hundreds of people from all walks of life joined SEESHA’s sensitization campaign at the Mumbai-Mahim railway station and signed the substance-free pledge, promising to lead a substance-free life, motivate their loved ones to live addiction-free, and contribute to a substance-free society.Placards were also displayed to reduce stigma and create awareness to live purposefully beyond addiction.

Deaddiction awarenesses were organized at the marketplaces. Also, Art competitions emphasizing the de-addiction concept, were organized at the SEESHA Learning centres.

2. Vyara:

Recent studies reveal that more than 1.5 crore children aged 10–17 in India are addicted to substances. It's never too early to talk to children about the ill-effects of alcohol and other drugs.

To build a strong foundation for a substance-free life among children, the SEESHA team in Vyara, Gujarat, organized a de-addiction sensitization rally under the theme 'New Year, New You!' with the SEESHA Learning Centre students from Vajpur. A de-addiction pledge was also taken at the end of the procession.

The SEESHA Team organised substance abuse & prevention awareness film shows in the market areas of Vajpur, Mounipada, and Fatehpur villages. More than 200 people from the communities were sensitized to substance abuse prevention & treatment.

3. Ranchi:

As part of SEESHA's 'New Year, New You!' deaddiction campaign, our project team in Ranchi promoted substance-free living within families & communities through special events like poster-making competitions, pledge signings, and showing awareness videos.

The children from the SEESHA Learning Centre, youth & women from the computer centre, and the Skill Development Program were actively engaged in the sensitization campaign to showcase the harmful effects of illicit substances, aiming to build substance-free generations.

4. Bengaluru:

A Nation is truly free when its citizens are free from all kinds of addiction. On the occasion of Republic Day, the Bengaluru project team organized sports, and art competitions as part of SEESHA's 'New Year, New You!' campaign, aiming to promote a healthier and substance-free India.

5. Cuddalore:

Substance use can quickly take over a person's life. When substance abuse continues, the person becomes more and more dependent on the illicit substance to feel 'normal', making their usual activities less pleasurable. To sensitize the community members on the harmful effects of substance abuse, SEESHA Team along with the Skill Development trainees, learning centre children went on a rally holding de-addiction awareness placards as part of the ‘New Year, New You!’ campaign.

More than 50 children from the SEESHA Learning Centres and youth from the local community joined the mock funeral procession and took the effigy of substance addiction on its final farewell march, as a culmination of SEESHA's month-long deaddiction sensitization campaign, 'New Year, New You!', when the village elders sang 'Oppari', lamenting against the toxic ties people form with illicit substances that sabotage their lives for decades, locking them in cycles of dysfunction.

Seizing the moment of deliverance, many citizens heaved a sigh of relief when they laid the effigy to its final rest, shattering the chains of bondage & breathing in the fresh freedom that came upon their bodies and minds.