District Administration Rajouri holds workshop to make all Panchayats Tobacco free


RAJOURI, JULY 1: In order to ensure the successful implementation of COTPA  in the district, the District Development Commissioner Rajouri Mohammad Aijaz Asad today presided over an awareness workshop with civil society, media and concerned officers at Dak Bunglow.

A campaign has been launched by the district administration Rajouri labelled as Operation Khumaar which aims at making all the 312 panchayats free from tobacco and tobacco-based products.

A threadbare discussion was held during the meeting regarding COTPA act which was enacted in 2003 and came into force in 2004. The divisional nodal officer National Tobacco Control Programme  Mridula Singh informed the meeting about the various sections of the act, including section 4 which prohibits smoking at all public places, section 5 which states that there is a prohibition on direct and indirect advertisements of tobacco products, section 6 which clearly mentions that selling of tobacco and tobacco-based products to a person below the age of 18 yrs is a crime. She also presented the list of authorised officers who can impose fines for the violation of section 4 of COTPA act.

Detailed information regarding the National Tobacco Control programme and its aims was also shared during the meeting.

The Chief Medical Officer Rajouri Dr Sunil Sharma highlighted the role of the members of the District Level Coordination committee constituted for the purpose of eradicating the menace of tobacco and tobacco-based products in all 312 panchayats of the district.

While speaking on the occasion, the DDC urged upon the officers to be clear about their role in this campaign. He said that even the headmasters of the schools have been authorised to impose a fine on the sale of tobacco within 100 yards of school limits.

Block medical officers were directed to set up counselling centres at all CHCs to help tobacco consumers to quit this habit. They were further asked to identify the geographical areas where such additions prevail within one week and share the data with the district administration so that necessary action can be taken to eradicate this issue from its roots.

He directed the ZEOs organise awareness programmes in their institutions about the ill effects of tobacco on health. He said that sarpanches will also be a part of the operation Khumaar.

The DDC further informed the meeting that such operations will also be launched at municipality level where the ward members of the concerned municipalities would be sensitized about the ill effects of tobacco and tobacco-based products so that the whole district can be declared tobacco-free.

He urged upon the officers to work in a mission mode and ensure interdepartmental coordination while making efforts to make the society free from the injurious tobacco and tobacco-based products.

Along with others, senior officers of the concerned department were present in the meeting.