In-School Tobacco Control Programme
Oral cancer ranks second among all types of cancer in India. India has the largest number of oral cancer cases and one-third of the total burden of oral cancer globally. According to Globocon 2020 In India, there were 135929 new cases and 75290 deaths in 2020. Oral cancer can be prevented if early detected. One of the major risk factors for oral cancer is consumption of Tobacco in smoke or smokeless form. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that tobacco causes nearly 6.4 million deaths and hundreds of billions of dollars of economic damage worldwide each year.
The PATH project focuses to create tobacco-free environments in 50 municipal schools in Navi Mumbai, by collaborating with the Salaam Bombay Foundation to implement the in-school tobacco control programme. The initiatives include various competitions and activities for the students. The project involves sensitization and counselling of the Auto rickshaw drivers as well. The objectives of the project are as follows:
- To create awareness among children from the BMC schools about various forms of addictions and Ill effects of tobacco use.
- To provide counselling to the students identified as Tobacco users
- To take up initiatives like Bal Panchayat rallies, drawing competitions, theatre performances, essay competitions to increase the awareness regarding the ill effects of Tobacco use
- To create awareness among the auto rickshaw drivers regarding the ill effects of Tobacco and provide counselling to the tobacco users identified.
PATH is an organization which works at the grassroot level with the community. The organization is functional since 1987 and has been working with the community in Mumbai slums. The main focus of the work is to provide vocational training and improve education and provide quality health care and community development.
The initiative will help to sensitize the teachers and the students of the Municipal schools. The awareness regarding the ill effects of Tobacco use and Cancer will be imbibed in the children which in turn will sensitize their families and friends and create a chain.