Crackdown on tobacco sale near schools
The state education department is taking strict measures to ensure that tobacco is not sold within 100 yards of an educational institution, and is roping in the police
To curb tobacco usage among teenagers the state education department has asked the city’s school principals to report shops selling tobacco within 100 yards of the school to education inspectors, ward officers, district collectors and even the local police station. B. Mane, education inspector of South Zone, said, “It has been observed by the government that teenagers are getting more involved in the consumption of the tobacco, hence this information might have been sought by the government.”
The education department of South Mumbai uploaded the circular on November 27 on one of the education websites. Available on this site is the complaint form prepared by the Salaam Bombay Foundation as well. According to the circular the form needs to be sent to the ward officer.
Some of the questions the form asks are has any official been appointed by the institution to organise the anti-tobacco programme, what is the contact number of the nodal officer and the principal, is there a board or instruction placed at the entrance indicating that the place is tobacco-free or that tobacco consumption is illegal and sale of tobacco is not allowed, was anyone found consuming or selling tobacco within the institution, were any tobacco related items like lighters, matchsticks, ashtrays, gutkha packets etc found in the institution, is anyone selling tobacco related items within 100 yards of the school, and others.
Geeta More Patil, chief officer, public-private partnership cell of the BMC’s education department, said, “All BMC schools hang instruction boards provided by Salaam Bombay. Our schools have always informed the organisation of sale of tobacco outside the school. It’s a good move that the government has asked schools to approach the police. The police must also be roped in to take action.”