World No Tobacco Day at Bangalore Medical College and Research Center
The World No Tobacco Day was conducted on May 30 at Bangalore Medical College and Research Center which is also the district anti tobacco cell. The program was attended by key dignitaries including Medical education minister, Health secretary, Home secretary, Joint director food and public health, BBMP commissioner for health, WHO consultant for state, Nodal officer anti tobacco cell, IMA secretary and Dental council of India members.
A VOTV event was conducted to sensitive the Govt officials on tobacco hazards and need for strict policy changes and implementation. Two patients were asked to speak on the Dias. Mr Durgiah, a beedi smoker and a farmer by occupation spoke about how the addiction led to cancer and he lost his voice box. From his earnings of Rs 100 per day, he used to spend Rs 30 to 50 on tobacco. Gowramma, a case of total laryngectomy, pharyngectomy and gastric pull up who now speaks through her stomach which has been placed in her throat. She spoke about her gutka addiction that bought her to this situation, which has marred her social life. Both patients submitted a charter of demands to minister and requesting him to take action. The minister was moved by the stories and promised to have an inter-ministerial committee to look into this matter. He has discussed the matter with Chief Secretary to strengthen Tobacco control in Karnataka.