Mysore/Mysuru: As part of World No Tobacco Day, HCG- Bharath Hospital and Institute of Oncology (HCG-BHIO) had organised Hope-A-Thon, a 3 km walk from Kote Anjaneyaswamy Temple here on May 31.
More than 1,200 people including students from various colleges took part. A pledge was also taken by all the participants, college students and the general public to make Mysuru free from tobacco.
District Health Officer (DHO) Dr. K.H. Prasad, who flagged off the walk said, “The proposition of usage of tobacco is 27 to 30 percent in India. 30 crore people are involved in smoking tobacco and use other products of tobacco. Every year, 60 lakh people were dying due to tobacco usage. If we take the last five years data, there is a four to five percent decline in smoking tobacco and non-smoking tobacco products usage which indicates that there is health consciousness among people. If this sort of awareness and message is sent, the younger generation will be free from tobacco.”
He appreciated HCG-BHIO and Red FM for taking up this initiative. He mentioned that those who smoke were not only spoiling their health but also those around them including their pets.
Anjali Ajaikumar, Director of HCG Bharath Hospital and Institute of Oncology, briefed about the research that HCG-BHIO is undertaking on farmers who are into tobacco cultivation. She called upon each participant to convince and pledge five people to stop smoking and usage of tobacco products and make Mysuru the first tobacco-free city.
M.S. Harsha, Founder-President of Mysuru Gym and Fitness Owners Association, said “Fitness is a way of life. Those who smoke will not give genuine reason, they cultivate habits after seeing their friends. I will give three-day free membership in the gym for smokers where they can come to know of their fitness level and as a result they themselves will stop smoking. By involving in fitness one can keep away from all bad habits.”
‘Antardhwani,’ HCG-BHIO’s independent Think Tank has successfully got 50 tobacco farmers in Hunsur to switch from tobacco to sandalwood. It has launched the country’s first-of-its-kind alternative farming project in Mysuru – Hunsur region. As an alternate crop, the farmers are growing sandalwood besides other seasonal fruits like guava, sapota etc. The total project size is 50 acres in and around Hunsur. More than 15,000 high grade saplings of sandalwood and over 8,000 saplings of seasonal fruits have already been supplied free of cost.
Best Skit Award was bagged by St. Joseph’s College while Best Slogan Award was won by M. Sanjana and B.M. Pooja of Teresian College. The award included cash of prize of Rs. 10,000. HCG-BHIO staff members also presented skit on the ill-effects of tobacco consumption. Dr. Madhavi, Medical Superintendent of Bharath Hospital, Nirmala K. Murthy, Centre Manager and doctors Dr. Vinay, Dr. Raxith, Dr. Vijay and Dr. Abhilash were present.