Lives going up in smoke : Dr Srinivas Ramaka
But for the anti-tobacco advertisement featuring former Indian cricketer Rahul Dravid’s, there was hardly any effort by the Union government to control the tobacco use, this despite the lives of nearly eight lakh people go up in the smoke, Dr Srinivas Ramaka.
Warangal: But for the anti-tobacco advertisement featuring former Indian cricketer Rahul Dravid's, there was hardly any effort by the Union government to control the tobacco use, this despite the lives of nearly eight lakh people go up in the smoke, Dr Srinivas Ramaka.
He is the lone torchbearer in the region, who has been campaigning for the prevention of tobacco use through his Srinivasa Heart Foundation in Warangal for over a decade. Dr Srinivas is a recipient of WHO SEARO Regional Director's Special Appreciation Award for World No Tobacco Day-2013.
Despite his dogged efforts to wake up the agencies concerned to implement the guidelines of the National Tobacco Control Programme (NTCP) that monitor the tobacco use and prevention policies in the country, the authorities appear to be in deep slumber.
"Little did we achieve even though the World Health Organisation (WHO) had rolled out an international legal treaty, the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), in 2005. The FCTC's MPOWER policy includes several proactive measures to discourage the use of cigarettes and other tobacco products besides protecting non-smokers from second-hand smoke,"D Srinivas said.
It may be mentioned here that MPOWER stand for Monitoring tobacco use and prevention policies, Protectin people from tobacco smoke, Offering help to those who want to quit tobacco, Warning about the dangers of tobacco, enforcing bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship, Raising taxes on tobacco products.
When Dr Srinivas sought to know the information about the implementation of the NTCP through the RTI Act from the implementing agencies in Telangana, the stakeholders have either answered that they have no directions from their higher ups or not aware of their role in the carrying out the NTCP guidelines. He said that there is an imperative need to enforce the NTCP to save people from getting exposed to some serious health problems such as cancer, lung diseases, cardiovascular etc. We also need stringent measures to stop chewing tobacco as no less ¾ of the country's population is habituated to the malady, he added.
The travesty is such that even on 'World No Tobacco Day' (May 31), the agencies concerned are not organising any campaigns, Dr Srinivas, arguably one of the most vocal anti-tobacco activists the country has produced, lamented.