NSS Ranchi University geared up to save lives from tobacco in Jharkhand

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Ranchi/Alive News : National Service Scheme (NSS) unit of Ranchi University, organised a training programme on the issue of tobacco epidemic for its Programme Officers along with student volunteers. Sambandh Health Foundation (SHF) provided technical support in this program for ‘Pledge for Life – Tobacco Free Youth Campaign’ supported by Alamelu Charitable Foundation (ACF).

This was part of an action plan made for NSS activities for the academic year 2020-2021 which includes tobacco free oath for all students, NSS Rural camps, various anti-tobacco activities and competitions. The Programme Officers and Volunteers were made aware about ill effects of tobacco, Cancer prevention, Tobacco Free Educational Institutions (ToFEI) and the Cigarettes & Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) implementation in the workshop.

Dr. Amitesh Anand, Surgical Oncologist from HCG Curie, Ranchi said “Now cancer is being detected at a much early age and one of the reasons is extensive use of tobacco products. If a person initiates tobacco use early in his life, he is more likely to continue this addiction throughout his life. Since, quit rate is very low in India, more and more efforts must be towards reducing the initiation of tobacco among youth. Prevention is better than cure, as they say.”

Youth organizations such as NSS getting involved in Pledge for Life – Tobacco Free Youth campaign will help reducing prevalence in the state. A state where we have 35,000 deaths every year due to tobacco use. More than 38.9% adults consume tobacco in Jharkhand and 147 children initiate tobacco everyday.

Youth and Sports Ministry, Govt. of India is taking major initiative to address huge health issues caused by tobacco usage through National Service Scheme (NSS) in Jharkhand. Regional Directorate and State National Service Scheme (NSS) has planned activities in Pledge for life – Tobacco Free Youth Campaign in Jharkhand.

Pledge for Life – Tobacco Free Youth’ campaign is inspired by the Honourable President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind and supported by Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. This campaign focuses on preventive strategies for youth to abstain from using tobacco and discouraging others also from doing so. This campaign is currently being rolled out in states of Assam, Delhi, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal.

Dr. Brajesh Kumar, NSS Program Coordinator, Ranchi University said “It is a great initiative on a social cause of protecting our young generations from tobacco menace. Youth must be actively participating in anti-tobacco activities and these efforts will lead towards a positive social behavior change in the society. Students should take pride in saying ‘NO’ to tobacco and other addictive substances if offered. There are 82 NSS Units of Ranchi University and we are enthusiastic to work in this area because we are shocked to hear the number of Jharkhand being killed by tobacco every year. It must be in the top priority.”

Dr Somil Rastogi, Sambandh Health Foundation(SHF) said, “Such campaigns which focuses on prevention are bound to bring social reforms. NSS has done wonders in social welfare. They are now committed to bring this change in community through Pledge for Life-Tobacco Free Youth campaign.”

Major Facts
· Every second man chew tobacco while 1 in 5 men smoke tobacco in Jharkhand.
· 1 in 6 women consume tobacco in Jharkhand.
· Khaini and gutkha are the 2 most commonly used tobacco products, 26.6% and 8.3% of    adults use khaini and guttka respectively.
· The mean age at initiation of tobacco use has increased from 17.6 years in GATS1 to         19.4 years in GATS2.
· 22.5% of all adults were exposed to second-hand smoke at their work place.
· 35000 people die prematurely every year due to tobacco related diseases.
· More than 147children initiate tobacco every day in India.

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