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World No Tobacco Day | Schools to observe May 31 as ‘No Bag Day’

03:23 AM May 25, 2024 IST | Syed Rizwan Geelani
world no tobacco day   schools to observe may 31 as ‘no bag day’
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Srinagar, May 24: The educational institutions across Kashmir are all set to observe May 31 as ‘No Bag Day’ for school children of all classes to observe ‘No Tobacco Day’ in schools across Kashmir.

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The day will be observed by the Directorate of School Education Kashmir (DSEK) in collaboration with the Directorate of Health Services Kashmir (DHSK).

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In this regard, an official communication has been addressed to all the Chief Education Officers (CEOs) from the DSEK with the instructions to observe May 31, 2024, as 'No Tobacco Day' across all schools in Kashmir.

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As per the official communication, this year’s theme for ‘World No Tobacco Day’ will be ‘Protecting children from tobacco industry’s interference’ which carries immense significance in the fight against tobacco use.

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The official communication reads that during the observation of ‘World No Tobacco Day 2024’ once again the World Health Organisation (WHO) and public health champions from across the world will join hands to raise awareness about the harmful influences of the tobacco industry on youth.

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“DSEK in collaboration with DHSL has planned to conduct different activities on May 31, 2024, to raise awareness among the people which will include road shows, rallies, essay competitions, painting competitions, and seminars,” the communication reads.

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Both departments have earlier convened a meeting on May 22, 2024, to commemorate the day.

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In the wake of this, the CEOs have been asked to issue necessary instructions to all the heads of institutions of their respective districts to conduct different activities involving students, parents, and teachers on May 31, 2024, and declare the day as ‘No Bag Day’.

An official said that the initiative was taken by the J&K Health and Medical Education (H&ME) Department on the directions of the Administrative Secretary H&ME, Syed Abid Rasheed Shah.

“The DHSK has already submitted a proposal to Secretary H&ME for observing May 31 as ‘No Bag Day’ in schools every year. The proposal is under process and will be approved in the coming days,” the official said.

He said that the Administrative Secretary H&ME Department was focused on preventive healthcare and various initiatives were being taken to keep students away from tobacco and other substance abuse.

“Use of tobacco is considered a gateway to drug addiction and given this, Secretary H&ME is focused on creating awareness among school children through seminars and other activities,” the official said.

Meanwhile, the DHSK proposal submitted to the H&ME Department and the Tobacco Control Cell (TCC) of the DHSK has proposed an initiative aimed at enhancing awareness and fostering a healthier environment for the students of J&K.

The proposal focuses on creating awareness and educating students in schools and colleges about the dangers of tobacco use besides stressing student wellbeing wherein May 31 will be declared ‘No Bag Day’ to leave students without academic pressure.

“This is being done so that they engage more freely in extracurricular activities, fostering a supportive environment where they can learn about healthy lifestyles in a relaxed setting. This can significantly contribute to their overall mental and physical well-being,” it reads.

An official said that the Administrative Secretary H&ME Department will take up the matter with the Secretaries of the School Education Department (SED) and Higher Education Department (HED) to declare May 31 as ‘No Bag Day’ every year.

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