Sunday, January 11, 2009

Smoke-Free Bhogi and Contributions towards No-Smoking India

Smoke-Free Bhogi and Contributions towards No-Smoking India

Well! The new year 2009 is on and we are marching ahead towards Bhogi and Thaip Pongal. Bhogi is one festival where we destroy the unneeded old things and rejuvenate our homes and heart with fresh and vibrant divine feelings and assets. As a good coincidence, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of Government of India has also launched a more vigorous 'No-Smoking' campaign now. I have just discussed about the same here.

Interestingly just yesterday, I had to mend the zip in my bag which had got damaged sometime back. Whilst I was waiting in a small bag shop near Kamarajapuram (Tambaram East), I observed two incidents:

  1. Some two wheeler fellow briskly walked to the neighboring petty shop (In Tamil we call it as petti kadai) and was purchasing a few cigarattes only to light it right in the public road.
  2. Another political party comrade, I observed, was smoking and driving his Qualis car. Smoking itself is an offence now. Smoking-and-driving is a dangerous art not just for the riders of the vehicle but also for the general road users since their focus and safety is highly jeopardised.
  3. Not too later than these observations, the petty shopkeeper himself pulled out a cigarette and was demonstrating his artistic skills in sketching air bubbles from his mouth.

Thanks for the shopkeeper in getting a bit late in completing my work that I could witness all these incidents. I was really feeling bad that the yeoman efforts of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (Government of India) is just going to drain because of these unscrupulous people. Though this was just my thought process and no one would be knowing about it, God has listened to it. Today's 'The Hindu' carried a magnificent half page advertisement on Page 6 enumerating the ban process besides publishing the National Toll Free Helpline put up the Ministry to report incidents.

I immediately took this occasion and have reported the same to them. The contact center staff is very courteous and they take down every detail including the landmark. You ought to be little slow and explain them since the call center lands in New Delhi and they understand either Hindi or English. Let us make it a point to report any violations then and there to the call center as this would be a great encouragement for them as they would be glad with the demonstrated public patronage of the noble mission of 'AntiSmoking Campaign' in India.

At least for me, I have a feeling of happiness that I have tried to have this weekend towards serving a national cause. Let us have this word spread across and make India smoke-free and ensure that everyone gets spring-fresh oxygen to breathe.

1 comment:

Bhavika said...

Hi Deepak,

I stumbled upon your blog while searching for smoking in India on google...its great to know your views on tobacco. I thought of writing to you since I am working on a similar initiative.

We have a chance to do something about it since the World Conference on Tobacco or Health is going to take place in Mumbai next month.

India Matters gives you the platform to speak your mind on this issue, whether it is for it or against, we want to know what the youth thinks about tobacco usage, policies, the ban, gutkha, children getting addicted to tobacco etc. I am doing this on behalf of Salaam Bombay, the NGO that fights for tobacco addiction in children.

Your opinion will be put forward to the policy makers during the event by Salaam Bombay, since they are the organisers of this event. It will be published on India Matters, Opinions with a link to your site or blog. You can have a look at some of the opinions posted as well.