Mumbai: Tawde to launch drive against tobacco use by school staff

Jun 08, 2015, 08:50 IST | Shreya Bhandary

State Education Minister Vinod Tawde also wants teachers at educational institutes to stop using tobacco in any form, in order to send a message to students to keep away from it

After unsuccessful attempts by the state education department to get rid of paan-beedi shops outside education institutes, the state Education Minister Vinod Tawde is now planning to initiate a drive against tobacco use in any form by teachers and other staff members at these institutes.

The decision comes after various schools and colleges have complained incessantly about shops selling tobacco outside their campuses, attracting many students. “We will issue a strict warning to all principals, teachers, and staff members to ensure that no one indulges in tobacco usage when in school. This will also send a clear message to students to stay away from tobacco products,” said Tawde.

Vinod Tawde

He added that this drive will start once schools re-open in the second week of June. “We’ll also expect schools to conduct workshops and other activities to spread the message wide and clear to all students,” he added. The education department is also planning to take action against shops selling tobacco products outside schools and college premises.

Institutes have, for long, complained about such shops attracting students. “We have complained to the police as well as local corporator to get rid of the paan shop outside our college, but nothing concrete has been done till date. When we complain, the shop shuts down for some days, but it’s back in action later.

We need a permanent solution,” said Marie Fernandes, principal of St Andrew’s College in Bandra. Moreover, the schools are also sceptical about how effective this initiative will be in helping to solve the problem. “We don’t mind conducting workshops and campaigns to make students aware, but nothing will change till the government takes action against the shops. There’s no way we can stop this menace,” said the principal of an Andheri-based school.

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