Vinod was five years old when he ran from home to escape the strong hands of his stepmother. A railway ticket collector found him hungry and crying at a train station. Taking compassion, he adopted the boy as his own, naming him Vinod, which means “happy” or “joyful.”
Vinod largely raised himself due to his adoptive father’s busy work schedule. Lonely, he jumped into a gang of friends who taught him to steal and use narcotics. Before long, he was a wanted man, addicted to every drug on the market.
Vinod lived life as a beggar and addict on India’s trains for the next 10 years. His life turned around at 35 years of age when he encountered a Teen Challenge rehabilitation program in Delhi. There he found the joy and happiness his father spoke over him many years ago. He is a proud graduate of the program and dedicates his time to helping old friends find freedom from their addictions.
The hope of Vinod’s story today encourages us as we reach out to many who are still in the struggle for freedom.