A self help guide written from the addict's perspective | Milaap
A self help guide written from the addict's perspective
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  • Vasant

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    Vasant Agarwal
  • VA

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    Vasant Agarwal

    from Gurgaon, Haryana


Alcoholism is a major problem in our society. It affects all strata of society and is proving to be a difficult menace to solve. Efforts from governments, NGOs etc are proving to either be ineffective or inadequate. At present there is very little information among the general public. We see a big gap where people do not have a single go to destination that offers all the information. There is no effective recourse available for addicts or their loved ones to reach out for guidance, referrals, information sources and much needed assistance in their time of need. We intend to set up a nationwide toll free hotline for all patients that will provide much sought after addiction counseling, referral and information sources for addicts and/or their loved ones in desperate need for help.
First step in this journey is a book "The Accidental Addict and the Power of Positive Thinking" which addresses the issue of addiction in real terms; not just do’s and don’ts, a step by step self help guide for problem resolution as a caregiver for loved ones or for oneself with notes, worksheets and discussion of each aspect of addiction. It's USP is the inspirational and motivational approach to addiction treatment as opposed to the clinical, top down approach taken by most authors on the subject. The motivational and inspirational Appendices are the differentiators of the book, and the Information Sources Guide is a must for any caregiver seeking or wishing to give help.
Project Title : Book titled “The Accidental Addict and The Power of Positive Thinking”.
Subject : Addiction and Harm Reduction.
Purpose : Awareness and Education Campaign on a major social problem in our country.
Specific social problems being addressed :
As we all know, addiction, whether from alcohol and/or drugs is a major problem facing our country with severe socioeconomic consequences. The addict simply does not know where to go or what to do, and there is little recourse available to addicts or their loved ones to reach out for guidance and much needed assistance in their time of need, whether urgent or long overdue. This book is simply the first step to the prevention, recovery and rehab process by providing a call for action road map with clear direction, for both personal and all stakeholders in this struggle.
The book offers the first step in the rehab and recovery process, and is a precursor to awareness of the problem. That of understanding, accepting and addressing the problem.
In the second phase , a toll free addiction hotline in conjunction with other social and mental health providers will be implemented to provide online or mobile based counseling, hopefully to be monetized by ad based revenue from various providers, such as rehab centers, counselors, CSR and NGO’s devoted to this cause.
And finally, a state of the art rehab facility with inpatient and outpatient care along the lines of many other such facilities in India and across the world. Available to all caregivers.
The competition:
The only available assist is the Addiction Hotline provided by the Govt of India, which is under-funded and with untrained staff, and unfortunately the best kept secret in town. Other telemedicine start ups are coming out with electronic media counselling but none are focused on Addiction.
Size of the marketplace :
In India alone, almost 10% of the population is seriously afflicted by some addiction or the other, to some degree or another, for some reason or another with some consequence or another. We are in the launch phase of the project and hope to grow rapidly, because the potential marketplace is immense.
The Product 
The book addresses the issues in real terms; not just do’s and dont’s, but a step by step roadmap with notes, worksheets, and discussions on each aspect of addiction. The motivational and inspirational appendices are the USP of this book and the Information Source Guide is a must for anyone seeking or wishing to give help. Although the main focus is on alcoholism, the contents apply to all forms of addiction. The book has been very favorably reviewed and recommended by many authors and counsellors in this field.
Reasons why the book will create an impact:
It is written from the addict’s perspective as opposed to the top down, clinical approach taken by most authors on the subject. There are little similarities to the approach taken by any other author on Amazon or Kindle. Although self published as of now, it is being reviewed by Partridge Penguin Random House for possible release sometime in 2017.
How we plan leverage technology for creating and/or scaling impact?
The world is going digital. We will use internet and mobile connectivity to service the needs of the addict along with a strong campaign in social media. We will post blogs and cross link to hundreds of websites where detailed information on the problem and possible solutions can be found. They in turn have expressed interest in either sponsoring or advertising on our site. Please visit www.4lifeispositive.com for details on the book. We will also link with many new telemedicine portals and platforms where there is a void in addressing issues in addiction and counselling .
Scale and impact we envision over the next three years :
We hope to help thousands of people that have any kind of addiction to avail of counseling and by providing referral sources, be they books, videos on social media, treatment professionals or treatment centers across the country. This effort will have a far reaching impact on our society and country, and will most likely be embraced by CSR, health foundations, social welfare organizations, and state and local governments.
About the founder/CEO of the organization Life is Positive 
Prior to returning to India, Mr. Vasant Agarwal, resided in the U.S. for over forty years and has two children. A graduate from U.C.L.A with a Master’s Degree in Systems Engineering, and an International ISC Diploma from Cambridge University, England. He was a Senior Consultant with E&Y in Los Angeles for many years, and then changed his interests to renewable energy and energy conservation. Since his return four years ago, he has been assisting various government and private organizations’ in providing solar lighting and mobile phone connectivity to people in rural India. He is presently a consultant with LIfeskills to assist in their rehab and counseling efforts. An avid skier and travel enthusiast, he is now devoting his time to a needed cause.
After the movie ”Udta Punjab”, addiction and its consequences have finally gained importance and is finally bringing people and the Govt. to tackle the severe impact. I joined a major addiction rehab center near New Delhi as a consultant to understand the depth of the problem, and the book is a firsthand account of my observations and research. Please visit my profile on LinkedIn.
Management Team profile:
Vasant Agarwal, Director, Life is Positive. M.S., U.C.L.A., University of California at Los Angeles.
Neil Paul, Author & Senior Mental Health Counsellor.
Aditya Sharma, Manager, Business Development
B. Kumar, C.T.O
Rajiv Gupta, C.I.O., P.R., Social Media, Govt. & Institutional Outreach Programs
Use of Funds and the Value Proposition :
Printing of 500 copies of the book for nationwide distribution to libraries, social organizations, rehab centers, counsellors and charitable organizations. @Rs. 225 ea. Total Rs. 1,125,00
Promotion on Social and Digital Media : Rs. 20,000/mo. for seven months. Total Rs. 1,40,000
Website Development and Maint : Total Rs. 50,000
Gen. & Admin. Rs. 50,000/mo for 6 months. Total Rs. 3,00,000
Travel & Workshops : Rs. 20,000/mo. for 7 months. Total Rs. 1,40,000
Total start-up resources needed: Rs. 7.5 lacs (approx.)
References :
Sonal Verma, Founder and Counselor, Lifeskills , India.
Meena Iyer, Founder and Counselor , Lifeskills , India.
The book addresses the issues of addiction in real terms as opposed to the top down, clinical approach taken by most authors. A step by step road map with notes, worksheets, and an understanding of each aspect of addiction. The motivational and inspirational appendices along with a vast directory of information resources are the USP and a must for anyone seeking or wishing to give help. The contents address all forms of addiction, and provide a possible, probable, perceptive and hopefully, promising answers to the many questions raised by all concerned.

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