: Rallies were taken out by the members of the public, paramedical staff from different hospitals and students marked World No Tobacco Day here on Friday.
R. Balasubramaniam, founder of Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement (SVYM), flagged off a rally outside the Sri Kote Anjaneya Swamy Temple near the palace. The Anti-Tobacco Forum of Mysore and the district Health Department, organised the rally. C. Sharath Kumar, president of the Indian Medical Association (IMA), Mysore, and District Health officer S.M. Malegowda were present.
Handbills circulated on the occasion by the SVYM demanded that the government ban tobacco cultivation and penalise those found smoking in public places. Advertisements on tobacco and its products too should be banned, it said.
The model of a cigarette atop a vehicle was the cynosure of all eyes at the rally that passed through the thoroughfares of the city. It was provided by the Anti-Tobacco Forum, Mysore, whose representative Vasanth Kumar Mysoremath was present. Volunteers from the Bharath Hospital and Institute of Oncology and Rotary Mysore also took part in the rally.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Sharath Kumar called upon the government to take up a massive campaign against the harmful effects of tobacco consumption as the number of people succumbing to tobacco-related diseases was on the rise. The Health Department was doing its best to spread the message on the ill-effects of tobacco consumption, he said.
Dr. Sharath Kumar flagged off a rally at Bharath Diagnostics Centre on Irwin Road earlier. The Social Democratic Party of India’s (SDPI) volunteers took out a motorbike rally as part of World No Tobacco Day.