A no-smoking campaign for college students being held at XLRI in Jamshedpur earlier this month. Telegraph picture
A city guy may know the meaning of a cancer stick. For his rural counterpart, a cigarette or beedi may be his only affordable way to puff out drudgery and show some attitude.
To drill the harm caused by tobacco in the hinterland, an anti-tobacco campaign started by XLRI will now travel from the streets of Jamshedpur to the narrow lanes of East Singhbhum villages.
Members of CII Young Indians, a student’s society of the business school, will spread the bad word about tobacco, making people aware of the ill effects of smoking cigarettes and beedis or of chewing khaini.
They along with members of a few city-based NGOs will travel to nearby villages in February and March. However, they are yet to decide on how many villages they would go to.
“We have decided to move out of the city. In villages, people consume khaini and smoke tobacco in the form of beedi, but they are completely unaware of what their habit can lead to. We have tie-ups with a few NGOs, which are helping us in our endeavour. Members of CII Young Indians take initiatives that serve the community at large,” said Anita Israni, a first-year student of human resource management and a member of CII Young Indians.
For urban yo-dudes, there’s an online No-Smoking Challenge for XLRI students only on Facebook. Whoever accepts the challenge has to quit smoking even if it is for a day. “There is no prize for the challenge. But, if one wins it, he realises that he can do without smoking and that is the biggest prize,” said another student.
This anti-tobacco drive was started in December and the city leg of the campaign got over on January 18.
The urban segment of the drive saw talks on the harmful effects of tobacco, no-smoking challenges and many other innovative ways to help people — both on campus and outside — quit their cancer stick.
XLRI students visited schools and colleges and interacted with trade union leaders to reach out to large number of people. The team took along an oncologist, who distributed informative pamphlets and spoke about the ill-effects of tobacco.
On campus, the CII Young Indians team walked a few extra miles to help their college mates give up smoking.
They organised a 10-day awareness drive from December 27 to January 6 that saw posters being put up across the B-school, supporting the cause of anti-smoking. Documentaries were also screened during the campaign.
The team also launched a “buddy” system at XLRI earlier this month. Here, a student was encouraged to sign up as “buddy” to his/her friends who smoke. The buddy’s job was to help his smoker friend quit the habit.
These apart, member of CII Young Indians will organise another social campaign on voting rights in late February. The team will focus on new voters and those who are too lazy to go to the polling booth.
Has your college come up with any similar campaign?