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#WNTD2020 "Engaging Young People to New Emerging Tobacco Threats" discussion was organised by Kashi VidyaPeeth in association with Nada India Foundation #TobaccoExposed

To commemorate "World No Tobacco Day", Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapith organised a discussion on "Engaging Young People to New Emerging Tobacco Threats" in association with Nada India Foundation and National Association of Professional Social Workers of India (NAPSWI) on 1st June 2020 at 1:00 p.m. 

The session brought together both the youth as well as the experienced minds from the cities of Delhi and Varanasi to discuss the emerging threats from tobacco especially to the younger population.

While Vice Chancellor Prof. T.N. called upon the individuals to do their parts and not rely entirely upon the Government saying "samaj se sashan hai, sashan se samaj nahi" (society creates the government, government doesn't create the society), Dr. Banshi Dhar Pandey and Student Health Volunteer Navjeet Chakravorty elaborated upon the work done till now to make the university campus Tobacco-free and Healthy .
With the intention of providing a safe space to express their opinions, Nada India founded The Young India Network for Good Health for the marginalised young population and it intends to provide a platform for the youth to voice their concerns and health priorities, run their good health initiatives, and participate in decision-making process related to their health and wellbeing.

Chairperson, Nada India, Mr. Suneel Vatsyayan, defines today's youth as marginalised and vulnerable because they are kept out of decision-making, stripped off their agency and judged upon their opinions. Mr.Vatsyayan also explained about the Twin City (Varanasi: A spiritual capital & Delhi: The National Capital of India) project of Nada India & Kashi Vidya Peeth in association with NAPSWI. Nada India along with NAPSWI initiated NAPSWI Nada India Wellness campaign at different Universities in 2016 which has been a major success.

While Ms. Riya Thapliyal (Youth Catalyst, Nada India and Convenor Delhi , Young India Network for Good Health) presented how the Nada India team under the leadership of Mr.Vatsyayan was training young people in Delhi-NCR to become health advocates and create safe and healthy spaces around them by combatting the risk factors of non Communicable Diseases like tobacco use, harmful use of alcohol, unhealthy diet and physical inactivity; Dr. Vrinda Pahuja (Asian Medical Students' Association India) discussed fact and figures around Tobacco Consumption and it's impact on children specifically. She also elaborated on the month long campaign run in association with Nada India every Tuesday, with agenda of impact of passive smoking in children. 
While Dr. Durgesh Upadhyay suggested music therapy as a non pharmacological and psychotherapic intervention to the problem of drug abuse; Dr. Kundan Singh encouraged the stundents to find something positive to immerse themselves in so that the negative doesn't tempt them.

The panel discussion saw Vijeta Singh another student Health volunteer viewing the silver lining of the pandemic as youth having little to no access to substance, Ritik Chakravarty highlighted how the university was crucial in not pressurising the students so much that they have to resort to substance use. Student Yogita Mishra mentioned Yoga and Pranayam as coping mechanisms as well as activities for healthy lifestyle and Gunja Singh condemned celebrity endorsement of products with any sort of substance in them and sale near school and colleges as well as encouraged awareness drives and counselling sessions.
Student, Navjeet also mentioned how the university is currently combatting the issue through theatre, yoga workshops, martial art classes. 

The action plan formulated included more and more campaigns, rehabilitation programs, capacity building projects, health initiatives, open gyms, and working beyond the campus to include more areas affected by the problems of substance abuse as part of Twin City (Varanasi & Delhi ) project  of Nada India & Kashi Vidya Peeth in association with NAPSWI.
*Nada India Team 


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