‘ Say NO to Tobacco’ The Transformation story from PMC’s Rajarshi Shahu Maharaj Eng Med School(PMC-53B) Pune, Maharashtra Students of class II, III and IV Mentor Teacher : Amit, Ashish & Kanika
FEEL Continuing from where we left last year [ NO SPITTING PLEASE ], we again wanted to choose something which was close to children’s home and heart. We had a class-meeting where kids even came up with things that we as teachers do not realize that our kids can even think. My kids wanted engineers to design cars and homes that were bomb-proof and wanted police to help citizens. However, one issue that has all of them together was the issue of tobacco and related diseases as all of them have one or the other person in their immediate of expanded families who consume tobacco.
Background Most of the kids in the school have someone in their immediate family who consumes tobacco in one form or other. Kids have heard that it is bad to eat tobacco/smoke cigarettes, but they were unaware of reasons for the same. Towards forming a better understanding of the issue, we spoke to the children about various diseases that can be caused through tobacco consumption. The children understood the medical reasons to not consume tobacco in any form.
Why “Say No To tobacco”? 1. Consumption of tobacco is highly prevalent in the community that kids stay. 2. Children are highly vulnerable to diseases due to passive smoke as also the chances of diseases to the earning member of the family. 3. Children can also get caught in the web of this Vice.
IMAGINE <ul><li>We discussed a range of ideas aimed at generating awareness towards the issue of tobacco consumption. </li></ul><ul><li>Street Plays </li></ul><ul><li>Community visits. </li></ul><ul><li>Starting with students’ parents. </li></ul><ul><li>Taking forward with spreading awareness amongst other people visiting school. </li></ul><ul><li>An awareness march. </li></ul><ul><li>Tieing up with NGO’s working in this field. </li></ul>
DO This being an issue that affects the kids at home & in communities, we wanted the most impact on the immediate families 1. Students were to request their parents/relatives not to eat tobacco or smoke and get a commitment signed from them. 2. The students had to spread awareness regarding the diseases Caused by consumption of tobacco in any form.
Let’s get our act together Students, with the help of ideas given by teachers, made a few drawings/cards, requesting their relatives/parents Not to consume tobacco. Children started with their homes and wanted to take it further by raising awareness levels of other community members.
Step II of the Act Step II required children to spread awareness amongst people Coming to the school who are essentially their own community Members.
Measure of Success The measure of success was the rise in awareness and parents’ support. For obvious reasons, Like last year, this effort was not quantifiable, however, the kids faces & their parents’ support show that we are on the right track: <ul><li>Year-on-year, the students degree of empowerment has been on a rise. </li></ul><ul><li>Rise in parents’ investment, accountability & support. </li></ul><ul><li>The parents’ were highly Appreciative and encouraging </li></ul>
The kids also got a signature / support sheet signed to quantify their effort.
Our transformation <ul><li>1. Started last year when we along with the students pledged that we will continue to spread awareness regarding health issues and this was a step further on that pledge. </li></ul><ul><li>2. This has further strengthened our commitment to the transformation of communities through kids’ education. </li></ul><ul><li>3. The communities have started feeling empowered on seeing their kids talking to grown-ups confidently about social issues. </li></ul>
Parents Speak <ul><li>It was really nice to see Bhushan taking interest in spreading awareness about this issue. Bhushan’s Mother </li></ul><ul><li>Children should be given more avenues like this to interact with the community and spread knowledge. </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Bhoomika’s Mother </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>We would like the kids to do more of such social projects all the year-round. </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Mr Mahesh Warade </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>School-Incharge. </li></ul></ul></ul>