Muktangan Rehabilitation Center
Muktangan in its eventful existence of 25 years saw emergence of a creative and emphatic leadership. Under the guidance of these stalwarts a team of dedicated workers transformed a small sapling into well entrenched tree with strong sense of service.
Dr. Anita Awachat
Sahachari meetingBorn in Sohoni family of Thane and known as Sunanda to all her near and dear ones, she was under deep influence of Gandhian ideology from an early age, hence simplicity and high values in all humanity concerns were part of her by virtue.
Sunanda did her MBBS and DPM from B.J. Medical College, Pune and was a keen participant in various extra-curricular activities, let it be college or any other socio-economic gathering. One of her classmates, Anil Awachat who was also pursuing medicine, had a similar ideology and they shared the same passion for music, literature and fine arts. These factors, which they had in common, brought them closer and resulted in the two becoming life partners.
On completion of her medical degree, Dr. Anita joined Mental hospital at Yerawada, Pune. Full of energy and resourceful ideas, she started a “Baby Ward" and got involved with many struggling women, children and other weaker sections of the society giving them a little encouragement here, a pat there or a helping hand whenever it was possible and required.
The saga of Muktangan Mitra started in line with her ideology. An adolescent child of one of the family friends got addicted to Brown Sugar and this became the turning point for Dr. Anita Awachat. Not only did she help her friend and her son to fight and come out of the grips of the vice, she took eradication of similar kind of vices as her life-long mission.
Muktangan De-addiction Centre and her vision became a reality and it was started as Anand Ward, within one of the buildings of the mental hospital. As time progressed, Dr. Anita was diagnosed with cancer. But this big hurdle did not slow her down. And in spite of the depression this was causing to her and her near and dear ones, she engrossed herself into her vision with more energy and dedication.
She was a mother to all who approached Muktangan Mitra, let it be patients in OPD, day care, night care or those admitted for treatment. The doors were open for all and this was not limited to the individuals addicted to vices but their family members also. Her total dedication opened a new page in the life of thousands, but she succumbed to cancer on 10th February 1997.
Apart from counselling and providing medication, Dr. Anita introduced meditation, art, literature, music, yoga etc. as therapeutic activities at Muktangan De-addiction Centre. Her untimely death was a big blow to the mission she had undertaken but it was in dedication to her unique personality that the torch was carried forward by her family members, colleagues and others who had dared to visualize this dream along with her. Dr. Anita Awachat left a legacy which continues more vigorously and Muktangan Mitra is not just a reality but a symbol of achievement, honour and pride.
Dr. Anil Awachat
Dr. Anil AwachatHis roots belong to Otur, a rural part of Pune district in Maharashtra. He graduated from Fergusson College, Pune and later took admission at B.J. Medical College, Pune and finished his MBBS degree.
In his youth he was highly influenced by socialism. He had developed a soft corner for the oppressed and the toiling masses. It was a time when poverty, inequality and superstition prevailed in all corners of the nation, mainly in rural and semi-rural areas. This was the time he and some of his like-minded colleagues founded “Yuvak Kranti Dal".
After getting his medical degree, instead of starting a practice, Dr. Anil decided to serve the oppressed masses. It was during this period that he tied nuptial knot with Dr. Anita who shared his ideology and supported him towards all his aims and goals. During the course of time, he developed a liking to writing and his pen became his weapon towards the fight for social injustice. He travelled a lot and instead of getting into the electoral politics he chose to dedicate himself towards social issues and their root causes.
He wrote articles and books on various socio-economic and cultural topics. He also edited a well known Marathi magazine – “Sadhana". Dr. Anil has creative skills in drawing, painting, music, Origami and woodcraft.
While he had dedicated his life into these fields, his wife Dr. Anita Awachat was contemplating about starting a de-addiction centre. Mr. P.L. Deshpande encouraged the Awachat couple in this endeavour and showed them a way. Dr. Anil whole-heartedly supported his wife to bring her vision into reality. Dr. Anita got engrossed in field-work and Dr. Anil known fondly as Baba within the Muktangan family became the backbone of Muktangan Mitra. Because of his involvement within all sections of the society, his huge and consistent efforts, his regular followup with the Government officials, the wheels kept turning and Muktangan De-addiction Centre soon became a reality.
Dr. Anita's untimely death due to cancer was a tremendous blow to Dr. Anil, his two daughters and all those close to the family. But being a pragmatic person Dr. Anil never slowed down. As of now under his able guidance Muktangan De-addiction Centre is among the best and the first de-addiction centre in the country to get an ISO 9001-2000 certification.
A blog on Anil Awachat
Ms. Mukta (Awachat) Puntambekar
Ms. Mukta PuntambekarDr. Anil Awachat and Late Dr. Anita Awachat were blessed with two daughters and Mukta the elder one is the Deputy Director of Muktangan Mitra and Project Director of Muktangan De-addiction Centre.
Mukta Puntambekar can be easily defined as a next generation person with a combination of Gandhian principals and socialism, which she has inherited from her parents. Her youth was like any other teenager, but her daily routine, her friends circle and her extra-curricular activities were in line with her parents' chosen careers. All the sacraments of social and human values, morals and ethics were inculcated in her. She also developed interest in music and literature.
In her academic career she found a place in Maharashtra H.S.C.E. Board's merit list and was felicitated with Chancellor's gold medal for her Masters in Clinical Psychology. At present she is pursuing her Ph.D.
On completion of the Masters degree, Mukta Awachat joined Muktangan as a counsellor. Parental guidance, her own academic qualifications and her ever growing experience further matured her personality. As time progressed she tied nuptial knots with Mr. Ashish Puntambekar, who by profession is a Computer Engineer and understands Mukta's committment to the society. The Puntambekar couple is blessed with a son and a daughter and Mukta devotes her time in a very balanced manner, both, to her family and to her chosen professional committment to the society.
After she lost her mother to cancer, Mukta took the reigns of Muktangan De-addiction Centre with dynamic and mature leadership qualities. Keeping in mind the ever-changing scenario and times, she steered the organization into a more scientific and professional centre. New schemes, techniques and strategies emerged under her leadership.
Muktangan Mitra has enlarged its approach and scope and has introduced modern and innovative modus operandi which has been acknowledged by the Government, NGO bodies and private sector in both India and abroad.
With the co-operation of the managing body, senior colleagues and a newly induced team, Mukta Puntambekar has achieved a new prestigious certification for Muktangan Mitra – the ISO 9001:2008.
Dr. Anand Nadkarni
Dr. Anand NadkarniHis roots belong to Thane in Maharashtra. He completed his MBBS and M.D in Psychological Medicine as well as D.P.M. (Diploma in Psychological Medicine) from Seth G. S. Medical College and K.E.M. Hospital, Bombay. He stood first in MD Examination in the University of Mumbai.
He started his consultancy practice in 1986 after working as a lecturer in K.E.M. Hospital. He was instrumental and guide during the establishment of Muktangan Rehabilitation Centre in 1986 and is Trustee and Consulting Psychiatrist for Muktangan Rehabilitation Center.
He started Institute for Psychological Health, along with other colleagues in 1990. IPH Community Mental Health Project is in Thane, Maharashtra, India & a registered trust with the mission of 'Mental Health for All', consists of mental health professionals from various fields & offers services to all age groups. De-stigmatization; that is reducing the gap of ignorance and misconceptions between society and mental health is the mission of IPH.
He is also Trustee, Swayam Rehabilitation Trust for disabled children, especially with Celebral Palsy.
He is Corporate Trainer and Human Resource Consultant and has been working as a trainer of Mental Health and related topics for many industries in Bombay and throughout the country.
He is Trainer of Mental Health Professionals and with his experience of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy, he offers certificate courses in counseling for mental health professionals.
His areas of professional interest are:
Child & adolescent psychiatry
Addiction & Community Psychiatry
Psychological aspects of sports medicine
Application of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) in different walks of life
Group therapy techniques as applicable to Indian scenario
Has been spreading the message of mental health through workshops talks & lectures for a decade with an average of over hundred lectures per year
Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy & Indian Philosophy
He has penned many books in Marathi and English. He is author to 13 award winning books in Marathi.
He has written several award winning one act plays and three scripts for professional Marathi Theater.
He has been associated with films and written songs in Hindi & Marathi along with tunes composed by him.
Dr. Nadkarni has a rare distinction of winning four state awards, one for his professional excellence i.e. de-addiction work, two for his books and one for his play.
“Muktangan Mitra is a Non Profit Public Charitable Trust & we welcome Tax deductible donations under forms 80G to support our services."