Team of VoTV patrons led by Dr. Amal Kataki and Dr. Ashok Das met and sensitized various Policy makers in the States of North East India. These policy makers were met to get their support towards tobacco control.
Governor of Assam and Meghalaya, Assam Health Minister, Assam Education Minister, Former Chief Minister of Assam, Assam MP were some of the people who were met during the last month. Editor of one of the most renowned Assamese daily was also met and sensitized to get support from media.
In the verge of saving lives that are destroyed due to tobacco VoTV patrons from across the country had met to discuss strategies and plans going forward.
VoTV patrons from all India gathered on 27th and 28th of June 2015 to discuss various aspects of tobacco control through VoTV. Healis Director Dr. PC Gupta, VoTV COO – Mr. Sanjay Seth, VoTV project Director – Ms. Ashima Sarin, VoTV Project Coordinators from various states had also participated in the event.
Success stories of VoTV from Assam, Punjab, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Kerala were shared by respective patrons. Mr. Steve Tamplin from John Hopkins also gave a talk.
On the occasion of World No Tobacco Day patrons from Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Manipur, Punjab, Kerala, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh conducted various activities in their respective regions.
VoTV was conducted in a press conference supporting 85% pack warning, in Kerala by Dr. Paul Sebastian VoTV patron. Shri M Jayachandran, well-known music composer, singer and musician launched the online petition campaign #LivesBachaoSizeBadhao in Kerala and appealed to the Union Health Ministry to implement 85 per cent pack warnings with effect from 1 April 2015. He signed it live before the gathered media, publicly endorsing his support to the cause.
VoTV patron Dr. Jayakrishnan, VoTV patient and Tobacco free Kerala team meeting the Taxes Secretary for tobacco taxes.
VoTV patrons Dr. Paul Sebastian and Dr. Jayakrishnana, with Tobacco Free Kerala team and VoTV patient had meetings with the Chief Minister and Secretary for Taxes in the state for advocating on tobacco taxes.
Shri Oomen Chandy, Hon’able CM Kerala was met by Dr Paul Sebastian and briefed the Chief Minister about the harms of tobacco, especially bidis, and pointed out bidis are not being taxed in Kerala. The Chief Minister readily agreed the fact that bidi industry is in crisis in Kerala with scant workers employed in them. We also told him most of the bidis used by Kerala users are being brought from Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and other states, escaping the tax net. That Tamil Nadu is taxing bidis at 14.5 per cent was pointed out to him. Revenue generated as a result of tax increase based on RTI data was also highlighted. Joining the team was 28-year-old tobacco-induced victim. Dr Paul explained how the young man had lost his ability to speak clearly following a surgery to treat tobacco-induced oral cancer. Chief Minister was pained to see the young man’s condition and expressed dismay on learning that two years of tobacco use had brought this malady to the youngster. Patient narrated his experience and said he knows of many friends who had cut down on cigarette consumption following tax increase and appealed to the Chief Minister to increase taxes on cigarettes and bring bidis under the tax net.
VoTV in Association with RVHA organized a press conference, post budget session, seeking increase of taxes on tobacco and ban on zarda.
Dr. Pawan Singhal, VoTV patron explained the media how difficult it is to see people getting operated and losing part of their face due to tobacco consumption. He also mentioned that it is painful to see youth of this country losing their lives.
VoTV and Tobacco Free Kerala in association with Institute of Journalism, Trivandrum organized a Media Workshop. The main agenda of this workshop was how ‘Media can be great partners in Tobacco and Drug control in Kerala.’
Dr. A S Pradeep, Nodal Officer, Tobacco Control in Kerala conducted VoTV with cancer patient. The patient explained how his life was affected due to tobacco. He requested media to support tobacco control activities in state. The objective of the workshop was to highlight the contribution of media in tobacco control in Kerala, sensitize/orient future journalists on the aspect of tobacco control reporting and to enhance proactive tobacco control reporting by the media.
Over 20 trainee journalists and top ranking journalist of media engaged and interacted with experts and asked many doubts under COTPA.
Tobacco victims video was screened in the meeting on Model District plan implementation chaired by District Collector of Kozhikkode. Representatives of Police, Health, and Education were present in the meeting that reviewed efforts taken up so far and decided to intensify action.
VoTV was conducted by Dr. Paul Sebastian in meeting with Governor of Kerala. The meeting intention was mainly concentration on making all the educational institutions tobacco free. Dr Paul Sebastian, Director, RCC and Vice Chairman, Tobacco Free Kerala led the team.
VoTV was conducted in a media workshop organized by Rajasthan Voluntary Health Association in Udaipur Division.
VoTV patron spoke about the dangerous use of tobacco and role of Media to in reducing deaths caused due to tobacco, either by direct consumption or passive smoking. He also told that tobacco deaths are the most preventable causes of death.