This video from CNN IBN’s “Citizen Journalist” programme features a Voice of Tobacco Victims’ champions as a citizen journalist against Gutka. CNN-IBN aired this on World No Tobacco Day 2012.
On this World No Tobacco Day (31st May 2012), VoTV showed its appreciation by organizing an in the Constitution Club, New Delhi from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Keshav Desiraju (Special Secretary), Dinesh Trivedi (Ex-Railway Minister), Shakuntla Gamlin (Joint Secretary) and Ashwini Rai (FDA Commissioner, MP), Biju Prabhakar (FDA Commissioner, Kerala) were present on this auspicious day.
Voice of Tobacco Victims and Cancer Awareness Society organized a sensitization program on tobacco with the District Education Officers of Bihar on May 8, 2012 in the Secretariat, Patna. The meeting was attended by about 70 people which included the Regional Deputy Directors (RDDs) and District Education Officers (DEOs) of Bihar, Cancer Awareness Society team, Mr. Sanjay Seth (CTFK), Dr. V.P Singh (Cancer Surgeon – VoTV patron), Dr Ahmad Abdul Hai, Surgeon (Hai Medicare & Research Institute) and Ashima Sarin (VoTV).
In Madhya Pradesh 31% of the population consumes smokeless tobacco. Months after the Centre’s new food safety law banned tobacco containing products, the Madhya Pradesh Government has been the first state to implement the ban, starting April 2012. Its mandate is very clear, no sale and no manufacture of any food that contains tobacco.
The Madhya Pradesh government has cancelled the licences of 17 gutka manufacturing units and has confiscated tobacco worth over Rs 1 crore, nearly 30 lakh pouches, including Khaini and Zarda.
The move has spurred other states into action, from Bihar where 49 per cent of the population uses smokeless tobacco to Maharashtra where that figure is 28 per cent. Rajasthan, Karnaktaka, Kerala, Jammu and Kashmir and Assam, all are in talks to soon implement the ban on tobacco food products.
Gutka packets on average contain seven per cent magnesium carbonate, which is a chemical used in fire extinguishers, according to The Food And Drug Administration. The news is alarming as 206 million Indians use some form of smokeless tobacco.
World Health Organisation estimates that 26 per cent of adults in India, use some form of smokeless tobacco and 40 per cent of them die because of this addiction.
Dinesh Trivedi serves as a role model for the policy makers especially the Members of Parliament. Mr Trivedi served as a Minister of State at the Ministry of Health and later became the Minister for Railways. This dead honest, down to earth, people loving and pro-reform minister wanted to modernize Railways and raise its dwindling standards at par with best railways in the world. Rest is known to the world and need not be repeated here. Few people know that he is a champion of tobacco control in India.
Voice of Tobacco Victims along with Tata Memorial Hospital and Salaam Bombay Foundation conducted a sensitization program in the Maharashtra Assembly. The session was attended by Chief Minister, Deputy CM, Speaker, Deputy Speaker, Additional Chief Secretary Health, MOS for Education, MOS for Home, 46 members of the both the houses of Legislative Assembly and 12 senior Bureaucrats.It is for the first time that high level ministers and policymakers humbly decided to occupy the position of audience, allowing public health professionals and tobacco control advocates to lead the assembly session. The topic ‘Ill effects of tobacco consumption and strategies for tobacco-free state of Maharashtra’ was discussed at length.
Dr A Kataki, Ruchira Neog of Assam Voluntary Health Association and Neelam Chadha of Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids met Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on 18th February 2012.
Mr Gogoi assured support in effective implementation of COTPA (The Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act) and developing a high powered committee in Assam. The CM is very positive to save children from the tobacco menace by incorporating ill-effects of tobacco in school curriculum.
Dr Vishal Rao had a successful meeting with Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda and Health Secretary Dr E V Ramana Reddy on February 1, 2012. He apprised the government about tobacco-related cancers and deaths in Karnataka. Also, he requested forming a high powered committee. The Chief Minister assured full support for tobacco control in Karnataka forwarded the file to his office.
VoTV members got an opportunity to interact with Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services on 16th January, 2012. She was heading a entourage consisting of Director, Global Health/CDC; Associate Director of International Research/NIH; Consul General, Health attache and several other dignitaries. Four VoTV members presented their views to the visiting team with their typical passion.