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Say no to tobacco

- YMCA ropes in women for awareness

Ranchi, May 31: If new Union health minister Harsh Vardhan yesterday called for a nationwide anti-tobacco movement driven by schoolchildren, Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) believes that women can help them achieve that aim.

No wonder, a majority of participants at a meeting held by the association’s Ranchi chapter to mark World No Tobacco Day today were women.

Held on YMCA’s main premises on Old Hazaribagh Road, the session aimed at making people aware about the adverse effects of tobacco consumption. The gathering of about 70 comprised mostly women and girls from nine slums of Ranchi like Dom Toli, Islam Nagar, Garha Toli, Tomtom Toli and Kadru Pool Toli.

“We could persuade some men to attend the meeting and counsel them for sometime. But our main aim was to target girls and women, who can constantly attempt to make their family members aware about the adverse effects of tobacco consumption and convince them to stub out the cigarette,” said Shafiqunisha, who is associated with YMCA’s welfare work in slum areas.

YMCA’s Ranchi secretary Chonhas Kujur agreed.

“We sincerely wish that they are able to dissuade their family members from consuming tobacco and thus help fight the menace,” he added.

According to a health survey conducted in 2010, 48 per cent of men and 20 per cent women in India consumed tobacco in forms of cigarettes, bidis and various forms of chewing powder.

Some participants, if not all, promised to kick their addiction. “I do smoke but after hearing all this, I feel I must give it up,” said Mohammad Majhar, a youth.


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