MUMBAI, (GNI): On Tuesday, Mumbai’s iconic ChhatrapatiShivaji Terminus (CST)that sees more than three million people rush through its portals every day, witnessed a different sort of enthusiasm.
Amidst the swirl of commuters and trains, the stately edifice most emblematic of Mumbai hosted a special celebrationthat caught the eye of every passer-by.Theoccasion was World No Tobacco Day and with the intention of reaching out to a large number of people who frequentCST daily, Salaam Bombay Foundation in association with the Rotary Club of Mumbai organised a series of interactive events
These events included eclectic activities ranging from a rangoli competition to a mock-up TV show, a poster exhibition, a street play and a selfie clicking event.
Beautiful rangoliscreated by Salaam Bombay students with an anti-tobacco message adorned the venue. These children have historically been known to spearhead the city’s anti-tobacco drive in collaboration with the state education department and other stakeholders.
The students also performed aninspiring street play that focussed on the ill-effects of tobacco consumption and explained how children and teenagers can keep away from this hazardous habit.Many commuters stopped in their tracks to witness the spirited performance. The children then proceeded to make the initiative extremely interactive by choosing a medium that everyone loves – an entertaining quiz show. They egged onlookers and passers-by to participate in a mock-up TV quiz show encapsulating questions that centred around the health hazards of tobacco. Correct answers were rewarded with asilver coin.
Another attraction was the impressive posters displayed for the public at the venue. These bespoke posters,that pointed out the health hazards of tobacco consumption, had been created by students from the Salaam Bombay Foundation Academiesfor a poster competition. The students often participate in various activities to hone their skills in leading the tobacco control activity in their schools and one such activity is the poster competition.
Talking about the initiative, Tshering Bhutia, General Manager, Operations (Tobacco-Control), Salaam Bombay Foundation said, “India is currently experiencing an epidemic of tobacco use. Among youth aged 13 to 15 years, 14.6 per cent are tobacco users. Although people know about the ill effects of tobacco, it is important to discuss about them at a venue like CST where there are a huge number of people at any given time. The Railways have always supported our initiatives. Around 7.4 million people use the Mumbai locals as a mode of regular transport every day. So, observing World No Tobacco Day at CST has helped us reach out to a larger number of people. The Salaam Bombay Foundation children have always been advocating for a tobacco-free environment and through today’s activities they have surely managed to take their message to people.”
The World Health Organisation celebrates May 31 each year as World No Tobacco Day and it is marked worldwide with a series of marches, exhibitions and awareness activities. Each year, the WHO selects a theme for the day and this year’s theme was ‘Tobacco – a threat to development’. This theme then becomes the central component of the WHO’s tobacco-related agenda for the following year.ends