One Lakh Children fight against tobacco

Written By Unknown on Sabtu, 09 Februari 2013 | 22.23

MUMBAI: On the eve of World Cancer Day, Fortis Foundation organised an innovative awareness campaign, Children Against Tobacco for the city's young generation in association with MET Young Explorer. Bollywood Actor Mr. Mimoh Chakravarthy was present at the event to ardently support the campaign held at Nirmal Lifestyle Mall, Mulund, Mumbai. It was an encouraging sight to watch children who turned up in numbers participate in a drawing competition where they depicted what the anti-tobacco campaign meant to them through picturesque visuals..

Children Against Tobacco is aimed at spreading awareness amongst parents, teachers, and decision makers on the adverse effects of consumption of any form of tobacco through young propagators-children. One lac children from over hundred schools across Mumbai pledged their support unanimously for the month long anti-tobacco drive that resulted in a humongous mosaic greeting card mosaic covering an area of 7527 sq. ft. which was displayed at the event. The emphatic message that was conveyed through the event was: 'we want to see a world free of tobacco'.

Mr. Varun Khanna, Regional Director (East & West), Fortis Healthcare said "It is heartening to see so many school going children, and India's future strike out against the ill effects of tobacco.. The Children Against Tobacco campaign raises important concerns surrounding its association of this bad habit forming substance that is identified as a major cause for cancer. We hope that an introduction to the ill effects of tobacco will keep our children away from the substance and also help them to influence adults around them to give up this nasty habit. Through the students we are trying to reach 1 million households with an effort by the hospital to spread a message through children on healthy living. Create awareness about cancer and gradually eradicate it from society"

Mr. Mimoh Chakravarthy, Bollywood Actor, said "I am thoroughly impressed by the well planned propaganda undertaken by Fortis Foundation in making the society a better place to live in. It's fantastic to see so many children come out in such huge numbers to promote this cause. I am non-smoker and endorse this campaign completely. I urge the generation of today to kick the butt and adopt a safer and healthier lifestyle."

Dr. Parul Tank, Psychologist, Fortis Hospital, Mulund said "Children today have an influential say in their families and they have a voice when it comes to buying household gadgets, cars and clothes. So why not an influence in healthcare and health promotion and prevention! Tobacco is a killer disease and responsible for up to 10 lac deaths a year in India due to cancer. Children, if given knowledge about the harmful effects of tobacco at an early age, will think before smoking or consuming it as adults. Moreover, children have a strong emotional connect when propagating about harmful effects of drugs including tobacco. Children asking questions, unwittingly spreading awareness, give information in a honest and candid manner which can have a lasting impact. Adults today actually listen to the future generation and implement their advice. They are the powerful messenger to adults who consume tobacco and are not motivated to abstain from the addiction. We hope this message will have a more lasting and healthy impact on the population."

Dr. Anil Heroor, Oncosurgeon, Fortis Hospital, said "The frequent use of gutkha can lead to several conditions like erythroplakia and oral submucous fibrosis leading to oral cancer. The risk of developing cancer varies from 29 -54% as per various studies. Oral cancer which can develop in the gums, cheek tongue or the pharynx is aggressive and often has a poor prognosis. Treatment which consists of surgery radiation and chemotherapy can often be debilitating. Though now newer techniques offer better prognosis with functional cosmetic outcomes, however most patients often get admitted late thereby reducing the effectiveness of the treatment. In fact, sadly, most cancer deaths happen to people who are middle aged and are often sole breadwinners for the family. "

Dr Boman Dabhar, Medical Oncologist, Fortis Hospital, said "This is particularly distressing as most of these people are middle aged and are often sole breadwinners for the family. Tobacco control can avoid over 115 million deaths (about 30-35 million from CVD) before 2050."

Shri Pankaj Bhujbal, Secretary of MET &Member of the Legislative Assembly, Maharashtra, said "The youth of today are going to be leaders of the nation tomorrow. In order to be responsible and aware citizens, it is imperative to streamline the educative systems keeping in mind the fast paced lifestyles. Like they say an appeal from child is more effective than an appeal from a doctor. I am proud that Fortis Foundation is launching a noteworthy platform as this will not just benefit the children but also the masses. Cancer is a deadly disease today and opportune prevention and cure is a must. I support this endeavour and pledge to provide any assistance whatsoever."

Surgical Oncologist from S. L. Raheja Hospital Fortis Associate - Dr Sanjay Sharma & Dr Dhairyasheel Savant.; Oncosurgeon from Fortis Hiranandani Hospital, Vashi - Dr Shishir Shetty; Medical Oncologist from Fortis Hospital, Mulund & Kalyan - Dr Tejinder Singh were also present at the event.

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