World No Tobacco Day: Meghalaya takes powerful steps against tobacco use
World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) observed on May 31 every year globally is a powerful reminder that we all need to fight against tobacco and protect our citizens, especially children
SHILLONG: World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) observed on May 31 every year globally is a powerful reminder that we all need to fight against tobacco and protect our citizens, especially children. NTCP Meghalaya and the Education Department, in collaboration with Sambandh Health Foundation, ran a successful WNTD campaign this year which required every school to do two activities (1) rally against tobacco and (2) signature campaign. In the State, more than 4.9 lac students from more than 8,000 schools participated.
Research studies indicate that when children participate in anti-tobacco activities, they are more likely to avoid tobacco use. With last year’s WNTD’22 campaign reaching every nook and corner of Meghalaya, this year too the State decided to do interventions which ensure children’s participation. This year’s theme was ‘My Meghalaya, Tobacco-free Meghalaya’. Videos were made highlighting how the rivers, villages, forests and the beauty of Meghalaya was being messed-up by tobacco.
Awards are given to the best schools in a block, doing both activities, in four categories: primary, upper primary, secondary and higher secondary. Block Award committees were made which included officials from the Education Department, Parents, Village Headmen etc. Block level winners were considered for district level awards by a District Award Committee and district winners competed for State-level awards.
Congratulating the DSEO, DMC, SDSEO, the Deputy Commissioner, West Khasi Hills, Garod LSN Dykes, said, “The WNTD’23 campaign is a great initiative to build a healthy generation. I am really happy that the Nodal Officer, BMCs, BRPs, CRCs, Principals and teachers participated with full enthusiasm.”
The DSEO, West Khasi Hills, informed that 968 schools had conducted rallies in the district and 52,171 students collected 842,566 signatures.
Together with the rest of Meghalaya, East Garo Hills also observed the World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) here in Williamnagar with this year’s theme ‘My Meghalaya, Tobacco-free Meghalaya’. On the occasion, the East Garo Hills Deputy Commissioner, Vibhor Aggarwal, congratulated the DSEO, DMC and SDSEO saying that the WNTD 2023 campaign is a great initiative to build a healthy generation. He also lauded the Nodal Officer, BMCs, BRPs, CRCs, Principals and Teachers for participating in the campaign with full enthusiasm.
From the Department of Education, Government of Meghalaya, Jennyfer J. Synrem informed that the Departments of Health & Education, has been implementing the Tobacco Free Educational Institutions (ToFEI) programme since 2021 in collaboration with Sambandh Health Foundation (a Gurugram-based NGO). She also informed that the state has won the prestigious World Health Organization Award 2023 for WNTD activities.
The DSEO of the district informed that 547 schools had done rallies in the district and 26,639 students collected 57,116 signatures. Dr Lana. L Nongbri, State Nodal Officer, NHM, said that tobacco kills 8,000 people in Meghalaya every year, stated a press release.