Mumbai: The war against Tobacco and its perpetrators is uphill. The tobacco lobby which promotes this deathly substance is formidable and intimidating. Yet there are individuals and organizations which are tenaciously waging struggle for Tobacco Free India. They need to be feted and supported for their daring do.
Narotam Sekhsaria Foundation (NSF) organized the 10th edition of Tobacco Free Grants and Awards – 2020-22 felicitating NGOs and individual leaders from various parts of the country for their pioneering contribution towards tobacco control.
The virtual event was attended by Dr Rana J Singh, Deputy Regional Director, South East Asia, International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease who was the Guest of Honor on the occasion. The event was also attended by Dr. Sadhana Tayde – Director of Health and Family Welfare, Maharashtra; Ms. Nandina Ramchandran – CEO, Salaam Mumbai Foundation and Dr. Monique Kamat – CEO, Narotam Sekhsaria Foundation.
Speaking about the awards Dr. Monique Kamat – CEO, Narotam Sekhsaria Foundation said, “At Narotam Sekhsaria Foundation, our focus areas include promoting excellence among individuals, improving the quality of life for socially and economically disadvantaged communities, and promoting and protecting Indian traditions. Recognizing the health hazards of tobacco abuse, the foundation lays equal emphasis on cancer prevention. One of the key interventions is based on support towards tobacco control initiatives. Towards this, every year, we provide grants to organizations and individuals for their commendable work in the area of tobacco control and this year after a rigorous selection process we have recognized and felicitated 5 NGO’s and 10 individuals who have been dedicatedly working in the field of tobacco control.”
Dr.Rana J Singh, Deputy Regional Director, South East Asia, International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease,commented, While I would congratulate the awardees and the grantees for their achievements, I would also like to appreciate the efforts taken by NSF and SMF for the initiatives undertaken by them in our fight for tobacco control. Tobacco continues to be a risk factor for COVID 19 and in the last 7 to 8 months, tobacco companies have been promoting their brands and products through CSR initiatives which involved youth intervention. In the last few months the Public Health Department of Maharashtra has worked on ban on sale of tobacco products which is a commendable effort, and learning from Maharashtra’s experience, it has led the way for other states to adopt the same. Global discussions are on in order to emphasize that this pandemic is an opportunity to support the tobacco consumers to stop usage of tobacco. Government and NTCP’s guidance is there and it is up to all of us as stakeholders on how we can work on this together and take it forward.”
NarotamSekhsaria Foundation gives away the Leadership Awards to individuals who have made their mark in tobacco control. The foundation supports their laudable efforts with a reward of INR 50,000 over two years. A maximum of ten individuals are awarded. Individuals from various backgrounds like teachers, community health workers, dentists, doctors, social workers etc. have received this award.
Narotam Sekhsaria Foundation also gives NGO grants which is an amount worth INR 10, 00,000/- over two years to non-profit organizations for doing excellent work in the field of tobacco control. This grant focuses on organizations that operate in rural areas and towns with a population lesser than 10 lakhs. A maximum of five grants are awarded to such deserving organizations.
|Movement for Alternatives and Youth Awareness||Bengaluru||Karnataka|
|ShikshitRojgar Kendra PrabandhakSamiti (SRKPS)||Jhunjhunu||Rajasthan|
|Name of Individual||District|
|Mr. Anil NamdevJadhav||Satara|
|Mr. Ravi Gosavi||Nandurbar|
|Mr. Ramchandra Tone||Sangli|
Special award was given to Dr. Sadhana Tayade – Director, Health Services, State Government of Maharashtra for her immense work and contribution towards the aim of creating a Tobacco Free society.These individuals and organizations are supported through training and mentorship which is provided by Salaam Mumbai Foundation. They are supported in order to increase their scope of work by sensitizing local stakeholders like police, health department functionaries, school teachers etc. and initiate activities at community level to make schools and villages tobacco free.