Pledge for Life, a campaign which aims at saving children from tobacco, was launched in Dibrugarh University on Thursday.
The Pledge for Life campaign, launched by National Service Scheme (NSS), aims at preventing children from initiating the use of tobacco.
The NSS in Assam has more than 2 lakh volunteers. Under this programme, several activities like sensitization, debates, poster competitions, rallies etc will be conducted to create awareness among college students.
Additionally, one day of the seven-day camp will be devoted exclusively to tobacco control. Two nodal students will be appointed in each NSS unit who will be responsible for monitoring the activities.
As part of the campaign, a workshop was organised, jointly by NSS Dibrugarh, Assam Cancer Care Foundation (ACCF), an initiative of Tata Trusts and the Assam government, Cachar Cancer Hospital, and Sambandh Health Foundation(SHF).
The NSS programme coordinator and 15 programme officers from Dibrugarh University attended the workshop. The team from Sambandh apprised the students of the epidemic of tobacco in Assam and India.
Himadri Barman, Assistant Programme Coordinator NSS Cell Dibrugarh University said, “This is a noble cause and we from NSS want to be part of the solution against the menace of tobacco. NSS units will be working in our region on Pledge for Life campaign. ACCF is organizing a cancer screening camp in the next couple of months and we at NSS will support that as well.”
Dr Gayatri Gogoi of Voice of Tobacco Victims explained the harmful effects of tobacco. She said “Oral cancer is very preventable. We applaud the NSS initiative in this regard.”
Two Programme Officers who attended the prior workshop shared their experiences with the audience. Between them, they had sensitized over 1,900 students in their own colleges and also nearby colleges.
As per Global Adult Tobacco Survey 2017, Assam has 1.05 crore tobacco users which is 48.2%. More than 34,000 deaths per annum are occurring in the state of Assam only due to tobacco consumption and the biggest concern is that 140 children everyday start using tobacco in some form in the state.