SUBASH – A Metamorphosis of Students’ Commitment against Tobacco.
Formation of SUBASH is one of the major activities of AID tobacco control project. Generally SUBASH means sweet fragrance of flower. From that perspective, students are the soul identity of the group who are well known as the campus based anti-smoking volunteer students’ association. AID tobacco control project has initiated and successfully formed 50 SUBASH groups in different colleges and universities in Khulna Division. Today near about motivated 1500 SUBASH members are actively working and regulating anti-smoking activities in their colleges and universities. With the passage of time, the number of members is increasing.
The journey was not so easy rather it was troublesome since students are the main target of tobacco industries and more or less these tender boys were very easy to be wrongly motivated by the tobacco industries. But in our country we have a glorious history of young boys contributing in national issues. i.e. language movement in 1952 and liberation war 1971. Beside in post war situation, in reconstruction of the broken and destroyed country, students contributed tremendously. Thus AID believes that by the activation of students’ association and there positive motivation can make any impossible challenges possible. Today, SUBASH members are working round the clock, turning their educational campus smoke free. As a result, they have formed the SUBASH group with general students. quarterly coordination meetings and smoke free campus campaign also are being held regularly. They have also developed and adopted smoke free guideline for their campus. AID tobacco control project staffs are also working day and night.
The main objective of SUBASH was to make the educational institution smoke free and contribute in anti-tobacco movement. Each member of the group is an ambassador of the movement. AID tobacco control project is actively associated with them supplying all sorts of IEC materials, which help the general students to be sensitized about harmful effects of tobacco consumption. Besides, this association has been turned into a community raising high brotherhood among each other. By the combined effort of SUBASH the CSR activities of tobacco industries are hampered in different places. SUBASH members are also helping in implementing TC law in campus perimeters and surrounding areas of their campus. Their monitoring reports are regularly submitted to the campus authority and necessary actions are taken. Not only that, SUBASH members are holding various additional local and national programs i.e. holding different cultural shows against tobacco in campus performing Jari Song and Ghamveera, observing International Mother Language Day, National and World No Tobacco Day, Cycle Rally and Human Chain.
But side by side there are few challenges. Say for example, the SUBASH members are not the permanent students. With their passing out from the campus, the institution may face shortage of volunteers if they cannot leave their predecessors to continue the movement. Some students may be allured with the attractive offers of the tobacco companies which can mislead the management of the university. Keeping the risk factors in consideration AID has initiated some activities for the sustainability of SUBASH. Such as district and division wise committee formation, quarterly and yearly coordination meeting of district committee, getting approval as an organization from the university authority, getting allocation a corner at TSC of the campus. Besides, their might be few recommendations such as, monthly special class on bad effect of tobacco usages may be introduced in each department, in case of getting admission and giving all kinds employment in the university non smoker criteria should be imposed by the authority and ensure representation of SUBASH like other volunteer organizations exist in the university campus in any decision making process regarding student affairs.
It is a matter of hope that after all the challenging situations, number of SUBASH members is increasing in most of the targeted campus. Smoke free campus campaigns have been taken place. Due to strong motivation of the students, the pen picture of the campus is being changed. The day is not so far, almost all educational institutions of Khulna division will be smoke free soon.
A Tremendous Success of Anti- Tobacco Mobile Court Operation in Khulna.
Frequent Mobile Court Operation at different public places and point of sales in Khulna Division especially in Khulna City Corporation has brought a notable change against the advertisement of Tobacco Industries in favor of their products marketing. In spite of the regular activity of Tobacco Control movement, most of the places of the City Corporation were fully covered with various types of stickers. posters, leaflets billboards etc. By the effective advocacy of AID Tobacco Control Project along with their working partner NGOs an extensive drives of Mobile Court Operation were organized during the month of December 2015. During Mobile Court Operations only in Khulna City Corporation, 39 point of sales and 50 persons were fined more than 2.5 lacs BTD and huge number of seized advertisement materials was destroyed. As a result of these Mobile Court Operations the general people of the City Corporation became aware of tobacco Control Law and the illegal advertisements of Tobacco Company which are now rarely found in the City. If in this way Mobile Courts are operated, time is not so far, people will get a better Khulna city free from smoking in public places and transports. It could be mentioned here that such Mobile Court was the outcome of Taskforce Committee activation of the Khulna Division where regular Taskforce Committee meeting rate is 87% till to date. This initiative in collaboration with AID, made this tobacco control movement a step forward towards success and becomes an iconic attention towards the general mass. General people of all level have shown their satisfaction to this type of initiative.
School Level Essay Writing Competition Arranged by AID Tobacco Control Project
AID Tobacco Control Project very often arranges few additional activities which can directly relate to public awareness against tobacco. As a part of it, AID Tobacco Control Project arranged an open Essay Writing competition among higher secondary level school students. It was a promise that the best Essay would be published in yearly news letter, AVIJATRA and first three winners would be rewarded with crests and certificates. The response was remarkable and plenty of essays were submitted. Among all the essays, the Tobacco Control team selected the best three essays and as per the promise, the winners i.e. Md. Injamamul Hoque, Md. Shohel Rana and Milon Kundu, students of class Nine of different schools of Jhenaidah district, were handed over crests and certificates by the Founder & Chief Executive, Tarikul Islam Palash on the grand ceremony of 22nd Birth Day of AID on 17th December, 2014 in front of hundreds of invited guests. Their parents expressed high feelings about such initiative of AID Tobacco Control Project.
Mobile Court Can Bring A Change in Smoking at Public Places & Transports.
Mobile Court Operation as a prime task of the Task Force Committee has changed the picture of the Public Places and Transports of Khulna Division. At present with the strong advocacy of AID Tobacco Control Project, the Task Force Committee is promised to ensure bringing the Public Places and Transports smoke free. As a result very often Mobile Courts are operated in various Public Places and point of sell to make people aware of Tobacco Control Law. Besides, to implement the TC law more effective, financial penalty is strictly fined where the law is violated. As a result, now people are becoming aware of smoking in Public Places and Transports and non smokers are getting a better environment to inhale fresh oxygen in Khulna Division.
NGO Co-ordination Meeting held in Magura & Satkhira.
NGO Co-ordination Meetings held both in Magura and Satkhira district on 15th November, 2014, which were chaired by Laila Kaniz Banu, the Executive Director, RDC and Md. Abul Hossain, Executive Director, MKS
Smoke free letter issued by DEO & DPO and warning note in prescription
It is our great pleasure to inform all concern that DEO And DPO of all districts of Khulna Division have issued a letter to the school
Smoke Free Municipality Guideline Signed in Magura Municipality, Magura.
The Mayor, Mohammad Iqbal Aktar Khan has signed Smoke Free Municipality Guideline today on 26th October, 2014 in the general meeting of the Municipality. By this activity the tobacco control movement will surely go a step forward implementing Tobacco Control law. Counselors, Teachers, journalists and representatives of civil
National No Tobacco Day Observed in Khulna Division
National No Tobacco Day observed individually in most of the districts
Advocacy Workshop with Health Professionals in Bagerhath and Meherpur
Advocacy workshop with health professionals held in Bagerhath and Meherpur Civil Surgeon’s conference hall on 29th and 30th September,2014 respectively. In Bagerhath the meeting was chaired by the Civil Surgeon Dr. A.F.M. Rafiqul Islam where in Meherpur the meeting was presided by the Civil Surgeon Dr. Islamil Faruk. In both the meetings,decision was taken to regularize the upazilla Task Force meeting. Besides, another decision was taken that UHFPOs would motivate and discourage their patients about smoking and any type of tobacco consumption. They would also encourage their root level health workers
Smoke Free Municipality Guideline Signed in Lohagara Municipality, Narail.
Implementing Tobacco Control Law at Public Places and Public Transports in Lohagara Municipality, the Mayor, Advocate Md. Newaz Ahmed Thakur has signed Smoke Free Municipality Guideline today on 14th August, 2014 in a meeting with Municipality authority. Counselors, Teachers, journalists and representatives of civil society were also present there. Among the participants the Secretary Md. Sirazul Islam ; the Counselors, Mrs. Dilruba Khanam, Md. Mozam Khan, Md. Mizanur Rahman; Engineer Md. Safiul Islam ; Taxation Officer, Roxina Khatun of the municipality ; Press Club Secretary Md. Simul Hasan and Md. Siddiqur Rahman, Headmaster, Lohagara Primary School were noteworthy. It is noted that the first draft of the guideline was proposed in previous meeting. Later on, with the opinion of municipality authority, the draft was finalized. Advocate Tonmoy Kundu, APC, AID – Tobacco Control Project – PROTECT highlighted the ways of implementing the guideline and by this initiative the general people will be highly benefited as he mentioned. Mayor anticipated the heart felt support from everyone implementing the guideline.