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.
VoTV patrons met Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan on 28th November, 2011 and shared with him the grim scenario of tobacco usage and related illnesses in Maharashtra. Dr Rajendra A Badwe, Director, Tata Memorial Hospital urged the Chief Minister to act against the rampant violation of Section 6 of COTPA (prohibition of sale to Minors and within 100 yards of educational institutions). Dr Pankaj Chaturvedi and Ms Devika Chadha expressed their views on this serious public health problem.
Satej Patil, Minister of State for home and FDA Minister of Maharashtra has pledged to curb tobacco menace in the state. Honble Minister is well known for his drive against violations of the anti-tobacco law as a FDA minister. He is a role model for FDA ministers in other states. He has pledged to do the best he can for this important public health issue. Members of Voice of Victims salute this young and dynamic politician who has come out openly against tobacco.