Mumbai students make a 7,527 sq ft anti-tobacco

Last Updated: Mon, Feb 04, 2013 14:20 hrs

Mumbai, Feb 4 (IANS) A mosaic ad measuring over 7,500 sq feet, carrying anti-tobacco messages was thrown open for public here Monday. It contained pledges from one lakh students from the city to fight tobacco use.

Organised by Fortis Foundation, at least 100,000 children from more than 100 schools took a pledge to fight tobacco use with a simple message: "We want to see a world free of tobacco."

Their appeal in the form of greeting cards was tiled, resulting in a mosaic ad measuring 7,527 sq feet, that was painstakingly put together Sunday night.

"In the run-up to World Cancer Day, Fortis Foundation had organised city-wide awareness campaign titled Children Against Tobacco. This month-long campaign culminated Sunday where children's messages were put together by Bollywood actor Mimoh Chakraborty," said Varun Khanna, regional director (East & West), Fortis Healthcare.

Khanna said the campaign will not only introduce growing children to the ill effects of tobacco use but will also help keep them away from the substance.

"They might also be able to influence adults around them to give up this nasty habit. Through the students we are trying to reach one million households to create awareness about cancer and gradually eradicate it from society," he said.

According to Jayashree Kandekar, principal of DAV Public School, messages by children carry a bigger impact and hence it is best that children understand the ill effects of tobacco first.

"As many as 1,900 students in the age group of 11-17 years participated in the initiative from our school. There were many students from 12th standard who came forward to lead students from our school and pledged to never fall prey to tobacco," she said.

"I think this is a good sign as these students will soon go off to colleges and the risk of exposure to tobacco is bigger," she added.

According to a survey, nearly 80,000 people around the world are developing cancer of the upper aero digestive tract, which includes lungs food pipe and oral cavity. In India one million smoking deaths have been reported per year.

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