GUWAHATI: To make children aware of harmful effects of tobacco, the Consumers’ Legal Protection Forum (CLPF) and the Consumer Voice, New Delhi organized an awareness programme at the GMC slum of Bhangagarh in Guwahati on Sunday.
The ‘awareness programme on the sensitization of harmful effects on tobacco and tobacco products’ was organized in association with “CHAKSHU”. At least 70 children, their parents, brothers and sisters, including friends attended the awareness programme.
Addressing the gathering, advocate Ajoy Hazarika, secretary of the Consumers’ Legal Protection Forum said, “An intensive survey shows that in Guwahati nearly half of the vendors around schools sell tobacco products. Vendors sell cigarettes and bidis via single sticks, making these products cheap and accessible to children and youth. Multinational tobacco companies sell tobacco products around schools. Vendors display tobacco products in ways that are appealing to children and youth. Vendors advertise tobacco products around schools.”
Julie Kakati, founder of CHAKSHU said: “Tobacco consumption rate in this dens slum is higher than the other area of the Guwahati City. Consumption of tobacco and tobacco products by the children is higher because these children are the most vulnerable to such threat mostly due to the environment they are dwelling with. First of all, parents should be aware of the harmful effects of tobacco and tobacco products on their children. Education and uplift of children in the slums is one of the root causes of this problem.”
Snehanshu Singh from Consumer VOICE, Delhi said that the density of tobacco vendors in Guwahati is too high in both commercial and residential areas, and there is no record available of tobacco vendors with the government agencies. There was an interaction session where the parents of the tobacco used children raised various sensitive questions.
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