An anti-tobacco drive during local festivals in Maharashtra
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Salaam Mumbai Foundation, Nariman Point, Mumbai, India
Publication date: 2021-09-02
Corresponding author
Rajashree Kadam   

Salaam Mumbai Foundation, Nariman Point, Mumbai, India
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2021;19(Suppl 1):A269
Given the sheer number and significance of festivals and events in the Indian context, Salaam Mumbai Foundation (SMF) strategically utilized these social and cultural platforms to disseminate tobacco control messages to reach out to large numbers of people across ages and socio-economic strata.

Festivals are an effective platform to reach people and convey messages on tobacco prevention and control.

Since 2016, SMF has conducted mass campaigns during festivals and events such as the Independence Day, Rakshabandhan, Ganeshotsav, Holi, and Diwali to reach out and work with school and community-level stakeholders as well as government authorities and decision makers.

SMF worked with government schools to integrate anti-tobacco slogans and songs in these Independence day rallies and issued a letter of support by the health department of Maharashtra. Nearly 10000 schools participated in this campaign, reaching around 10 lakh people in Maharashtra. Rakshabandhan is a widely celebrated cultural festival in which sisters tie a Rakhi (band) on their brothers’ wrist to symbolise the love and protection between siblings. This activity was conducted in 13 districts of Maharashtra where 125 students and teachers met 52 decision makers. During Ganeshotsav, in all 28 districts of Maharashtra, SMF’s partner teachers and NGOs decorated the Ganapati pandal with anti-tobacco posters and also played anti-tobacco messages during daily prayers (aarti). Public awareness activities including videos, anti-tobacco songs and posters were displayed in the pandals. During Diwali festival sensitization of Anti-tobacco campaign was done through the medium of Rangoli and lanterns. During the occasion of holi, In 5 villages, SMF sensitized 1500 people on tobacco use. Furthermore, 2100 schools participated in this activity and reached 1 lakh people.

Students and teachers are important stakeholders and can deliver messages on such platforms.

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