Students take pledge to fight against Tobacco

Shillong, May 31: World No Tobacco day was observed at the KJP Conference Hall, on Friday . The program was organised by the East Khasi Hills(Meghalaya) Nodal Office of the National Tobacco Control Program(NTCP) in association with National Program for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Heart Diseases and Stroke(NPCDCS).

The program was an effort to sensitise the students and government officialsabout the harmful effects of Tobacco and the steps to curb this menace.

Health Secretary, Government of Meghalaya,  Pravin Bakshi IAS, attended the program as a Chief Guest highlighted the role of the government in controlling the tobacco menace in Meghalaya. He encouraged the school students, whom he addressed as a ‘Gathering of young leaders’, to be agents of change in the society.

The Guest of Honor,  I. Majaw, Additional Deputy Commissioner of East Khasi Hills spoke about her experiences with tobacco users and how this menace has to be curbed. She also stressed on the need to curb the use of kwai, which along with tobacco, increases the risk of cancer.

Dr. Lana E.L. Nongbri, Nodal Officer, Meghalaya NTCP, enumerated the activities of the NTCP, including the signature campaign organised at Fire Brigade. Dr. Robert Marak, District Nodal Officer, NPCDCS enumerated the technical aspects of how tobacco harms us. Dr. Caleb Harris, Surgical Oncologist, NEIGRIHMS, stressed on the need for each and every member of the society to aid the Government in implementing the restrictions on tobacco.

Dr. B. Kanti, District Nodal Officer, NTCP, EKH welcomed the audience. Banker Kharkongor enthralled the audience with a wonderful khasi song which he had composed specially for this occasion. It was wonderful to see the entire audience join along with him for the chorus, ‘Say NO to Tobacco’!

Bakshi said that the health department, in collaboration with the Education department, will ensure that all the Educational Institutions of Meghalaya are declared as ‘Tobacco-free Educational Institutions’, which would be carried forward, with the students as ‘missionaries of change’. He also administered the pledge against tobacco.

Dr. L. M. Pdah, Director of Health Services, Meghalaya, Dr. M. Marbaniang, State Nodal Officer, NPCSDS, Dr. E. Lyngskor, State TB Cell, Dr. Star Pala, Associate Professor, Community Medicine, NEIGRIHMS, were also present.

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