Guwahati, Pledge for Life Campaign, which aims at saving children from tobacco, has been initiated in Assam and started in three universities of Assam at Dibrugarh, Silchar and Guwahati districts. The Pledge for Life campaign aims at preventing children from initiating the use of tobacco.
The National Service Scheme (NSS) in Assam has more than 2 lakh volunteers. A 'Pledge For Life' pilot in collaboration with the NSS was launched in Guwahati. Under this pilot, several activities like sensitization, debates, poster competitions, rallies etc will be conducted to create awareness among college students. Additionally, one day during the 7 day camps 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. After the pilot in these three universities, it will be rolled out to other colleges in the state of Assam.
Recently a one-day workshop was organised, which was attended by 26 NSS Program Officers. Post this workshop, many Programme Officers initiated activities in their respective colleges such as administering pledges, poster and essay competitions etc.
Thereafter, a workshop on Tobacco Control was organised, which was jointly organised by NSS, Assam Administrative Staff College, Tata Trusts, Cachar Cancer Hospital, Sambandh Health Foundation and Doctors for You. Two NSS programme coordinators and 15 programme officers from the 3 state universities - Dibrugarh University, Silchar University and Guwahati University attended this workshop.
A very fruitful interaction with the college students and NSS volunteers of Dispur College and Dakshin Kamrup Girls College took place today. Team from Sambandh brought to notice of students the epidemic of tobacco in Assam and India. Students were shocked to learn that tobacco harms every organ of the body and leaves families devastated with the suffering. Students came forward during the discussion and gave ideas to prevent themselves and next generation from this deadly product.
Mr. Dipak Kumar, Assistant Programme Advisor, NSS Northeast region said, “This is a noble cause and we from NSS fully support to make our society tobacco free. Our NSS units will be working in the entire North East region on Pledge For Life campaign.”
One of the Program Officers during the workshop said, “I have found a mission in my life. As a teacher it is my duty to make these children into good and healthy citizens.”
As per Global Adult Tobacco Survey 2017, Assam has 1.05 crore tobacco users which is 48.2%. More than 34000 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.
Mr. GM Hazarika, Director, Assam Administrative College, said, “If we can save our future generations from this preventable cause of death, we will have a very healthy society. I highly appreciate the efforts of Sambandh Health Foundation, Tata Trusts and National Service Scheme in strategizing for a Tobacco Free Assam.”Applauding efforts of NSS, Pradeep Mathur, Trustee, Sambandh Health Foundation, said, “With 2 lac volunteers in NSS, great social reform can be brought in order to save our future generation from tobacco.”