Vinod Acharya was a regular at liquor shops as a young man living in the Garhwal mountains in Uttarakhand when he got addicted to smack, a variant of heroin. Now at 40, he works with a non-profit organization that helps rehabilitate people addicted to injectible drugs, and earns Rs5,500 a month. This is just one story among many who are into substance abuse through injections. Rajiv Shaw, regional manager (north India) at Sharan, the organization Acharya works with, warned that many such people, particularly street children abusing solvents, are left out of government programmes and are likely to emerge as the next big generation of people who are at high risk of contracting HIV/AIDS. In the meanwhile, as dusk deepens at Delhi’s Gole Market, a bunch of kids not yet into their teens huddle together—sniffing glue, drinking cough syrup and injecting drugs. They are too young to know better, and by the time anybody takes action, they would just be an additional statistic on India’s HIV/AIDS horizon. Read more at