Posted On Wednesday, June 06, 2012 at 08:48:10 AM
The term ‘making a difference’ has been abused to such an extent today that it is difficult to find and trust someone who isgenuinelytryingtohelpyou. Dr Anil Awachat and his wife late Dr Anita Awachat went on to change this notion and brought to society — Muktangan Rehabilitation Centre — a place where an individual is helped to quit drugs and alcohol through rehabilitation and awareness.
After the demise of his wife, Dr Awachat has carried this noble cause forward with the help of his elder daughter Mukta Puntambekar—thedeputydirectorof Muktangan Mitra of the centre.
“My sister and I were never forced into taking up anything we did not like. After I completed my MA in ClinicalPsychologyandwasplanning a PhD, I thought of trying my hand at the centre for a while. I started enjoying the work here.
Then there was this fateful day when my mother fell ill and I wanted to help her out,” says Mukta. She decided to lessen her mother’s burden and took up the administration at the centre. She also went on to become a counsellor there.
DrAwachatbelievesitishisdaughter’s sensitive nature combined with intelligence that make her an asset to the centre. “Many working here are not qualified for the job — some are even treated past patients. Her academic qualifications are an asset. She came up to us and said she wanted to work with us.
And slowly, she did well. We are proud of her.” Initially, Mukta took some time coping with emotions of the patients and their families. That’s when her father gave her an important suggestion — ‘Be a student first and learn through the experience’.
For Mukta, the best thing about working with her family is of not having to fight over trivial issues. Dr Awachat feels , “She has seen us work as a child and knows everyone working with us. She has seen issues and problems that have affected us.
All this works in her favour.” Mukta remembers the time when her mother worked at the Yerawada Mental Hospital, “We would interact with the patients and their families. Even at Muktangan, it is the same.”
Incaseofadisagreement,theduosorts it out maturely and Mukta adds, “He is not very keen in the administration of the Centre. He is a creative person and lets me deal with the office part.
At home, I am more of his mother than his daughter.” Dr Awachat is of the opinion that in an argument one needs to step down . “In many cases, our colleague Dr Anand Nadkarni comes to the rescue and resolves issues,” he laughs.
A family that works together stays together. “Since she has the same values as us, it is an advantage. If she did not have them, then working with her would have been a headache. She has been trained under her mother and knows her job well.”
Mukta finds her job at the centre to be a hugeresponsibility,asshehastomaintain the high and noble standards set byherparents. “Butthereisalotofflexibility. Whenmysonwasborn,Iwould bring him here.
My colleagues are understanding and helpful.” Mukta respects her parent for following what theypreached.“ Theyalsomadeanunderstanding and loving couple in terms of space and respect.”
Patience is a Virtue
Dr Awachat feels Mukta is a bit sensitive when it comes to the outcome of a case. “I have to keep assuring her that we will find a solution. She does get affected by certain cases and tries and resolves issues on her own.”
Mukta adds, “I feel a sense of belonging here. This (Muktangan) is my family. But, one needs to departmentalise in life and have a clear set of roles and responsibilities, when it comes to work.Also,nevertakeworkhome.”Dr Awachat adds, “Sometimes, you cannot help but take work home!”