JORHAT: A district-level sensitization workshop on tobacco control for ensuring effective coordination amongst the stakeholders was organised in Jorhat on Monday.
It was funded by the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The UNION) and supported by the State Tobacco Control Cell, Directorate of Health Services, Government of Assam, and the District Tobacco Control Cell, Jorhat. The workshop began with the welcome address delivered by the Jt. Director (Health Services), Jorhat, and Asom Saurav awardee Dr. Shashidhar Phukan. The keynote address was delivered by the Chairman, Zilla Parishad, Jorhat. Dr. Arundhati Deka, State Nodal Officer, State Tobacco Control Cell, Assam, who will retire from service on June 30, 2023, was the resource person for the workshop, and she spoke about the burden of tobacco in Assam as well as about the Tobacco Free Educational Institution Guidelines (ToFEI). Later, Dr. Bhaktimay Bhattacharjee, DNO, DTCC, Jorhat, delivered a talk on the smoke-free and tobacco-free Jorhat initiative taken up with active support from the Jorhat District administration. The President of Meleng Balichapori Gaon Panchayat, Durlov Chetia, and the Food Safety Officer, Jorhat Nandita Konwar, also interacted with the guests.
A signature campaign to raise awareness was also initiated on this occasion. The participants expressed the opinion that amendments to the COTPA Act 2003, more enforcement drives, and awareness campaigns targeting all sections of the population, especially school- and college-going students, would help in bringing down the rate of tobacco use in Assam. The Tocklai Tea Research Institute, Cinnamara, Jorhat, was awarded a certificate in recognition of the effort made by them to maintain a tobacco-free campus. The Director, TRI Dr. A. Babu, and the Administrative Controller, Dr. B. Chakravarty, collected the certificate from Dr. Arundhati Deka, SNO, STCC, Assam.
The Secretary, DLSA, Jorhat; the Director, Students Welfare, AAU, Jorhat; several police officials; DPOs from the Education Department; MVI, Jorhat. Representatives from Brahmakumaris, NYKS, ASRLM, Legal Metrology, DIPRO, and teachers from several reputed educational institutions took part, a press release said.