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Dibrugarh University NSS units launch ‘Pledge for Life’ campaign
Staff correspondent
 DIBRUGARH, Sept 23 - ‘Pledge for Life’ campaign, which aims at saving children from tobacco, was launched on Thursday in Dibrugarh University, besides its colleges and communities.

The ‘Pledge for Life’ campaign aims at preventing children from initiating the use of tobacco. The National Service Scheme (NSS) in Assam has more than 2 lakh volunteers. Under this programme, several activities like sensitisation, debates, poster competitions, rallies etc., will be conducted to create awareness among college students.

Additionally, one day during the seven-day camp will be devoted exclusively to tobacco control. Two nodal students will be appointed in each NSS unit who will be responsible for monitoring the activities.

The workshop was organised jointly by NSS Dibrugarh, Assam Cancer Care Foundation (ACCF) (an initiative of Tata Trusts and the Government of Assam), Cachar Cancer Hospital and Sambandh Health Foundation (SHF). The NSS programme coordinator and 15 programme officers from Dibrugarh University attended the workshop.

A very fruitful interaction with the college students and NSS volunteers of Dibrugarh University also took place. The team from Sambandh apprised the students of the epidemic of tobacco in Assam and India. Students came forward during the discussion and shared ideas on abstinence from this deadly product.

Himadri Barman, Assistant Programme Coordinator of the NSS Cell of Dibrugarh University said: “This is a noble cause and we from NSS to be part of the solution against the menace of tobacco. NSS units will be working in our region on Pledge for Life campaign. ACCF is organising a cancer screening camp in the next couple of months and we at NSS will support that as well.”

Dr Gayatri Gogoi of Voice of Tobacco Victims explained in detail the harmful effects of tobacco. She said, “Oral cancer is preventable. We applaud the NSS initiative in this regard.”

Two programme officers who attended the workshop shared their experiences with the audience. Between them, they had sensitised over 1,900 students in several colleges.

As per the Global Adult Tobacco Survey 2017, Assam has 1.05 crore tobacco users, which is 48.2%. More than 34,000 deaths per annum occur in the State only due to tobacco consumption. The biggest concern is that 140 children every day start using tobacco in some form in the State, a release stated.

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