Minister for Health & Medical Education, Bali Bhagat has called for a State-wide sustained campaign against the use of Tobacco and its allied products with the active involvement of various stakeholders including, social, religious organizations, educational institutions and allied bodies which have great influence on public.
“He said numerous precious lives are being lost every year with the diseases related to the use of different forms of tobacco and its allied products, and need of the hour was to take a serious call to discourage this practice in the society ”,said the Minister.
Speaking at a function which was jointly organized by the Jammu Chapter of Indian Dental Association (IDA), Jammu Centre of Art of Living and Indira Gandhi Government Dental College (IGGDC) here today in connection with the observance of ‘World No Tobacco Day’, the Minister said that drug addiction, including use of Cigarette and allied products of tobacco are causing great harm to the society, especially the younger generation, and collective efforts are needed to curb this practice for ensuring an healthy environment and saving the youth from diverting to negative direction. He said only government efforts are not sufficient to keep a curb on the social evils, but entire society has to contribute for the social cause.
Elaborating that more than 27 percent population of Jammu and Kashmir, majority of youth are consumers of tobacco in different forms and several precious lives are being lost due to diseases related to its use every year thus rendering their families at the mercy of others. He called upon the Directorate of Health Services and credible NGOs to chalk-out a well-knit strategy to educate the masses through awareness programmes across the State about the ill effects of tobacco on the human health.
Lauding the efforts of Indian Dental Association and other social organizations for their valuable initiative to organize a mega awareness campaign during the World No Tobacco Day week, the Minister asked them to continue their efforts in the social cause to discourage the use of tobacco. He also expressed gratitude to the Army, CRPF authorities and educational institutions, who participated in the campaign and said that the message will go long way in educating the users of the tobacco and definitively there will be a great impact on ground.
On the occasion, the Minister distributed prizes among the students who excelled in different activities through their writings, skits, and lectures highlighting the ill effects of tobacco on human health during the campaign. He also honored the doctors and other participants of the campaign for their dedicated efforts towards the social cause.
President, IDA, Dr. Ritesh Gupta gave detailed account of the activities which were carried out to mark the World No Tobacco Day. He said the IDA in association with IGGDC and Art of Living organized an effective awareness campaign and conducted different activities to educate the masses against the use of tobacco and its other products. He said the awareness programmes were conducted in Army, CRPF installations, various schools and everyone evinced keen interest in the social cause. An impressive programme was also organized at Bari Brahmna to educate the vulnerable section of the society including, industrial labor, drivers, rehriwalas, slum dwellers etc. An awareness walk was also organized from Bahu Plaza to Dussehra Ground Gandhi Nagar wherein people from all walks of life participated. The school children participated in the competition of poster making, slogan writing, skits, lectures on the theme of ill effects of smoking and use of tobacco on the human health.
Prominent among those present on the occasion included, Principal, IGGDC, Dr. Romesh Singh, Principal, GMC, Dr. Sunanda Raina, Director School Education, Jammu, Ravinder Singh, Addl. DC, Jammu, Ms. Anuradha Gupta, Medical Superintendents of all the Associated Hospitals, educationists and Members of various social organizations.