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India: Salesian development agency promotes tobacco awareness among migrants

Speakers address migrants on the dangers of tobacco products. (Photo supplied)

The Bangalore Rural Educational and Development Society (BREADS), a church-based NGO, organized a workshop to create awareness of the dangers of tobacco among migrants and others.

BREADS is Bangalore Salesian Province's development organization in southern India. It supports and advocates for NGOs engaged in development work, particularly the Don Bosco affiliates in Kerala and Karnataka states.

In collaboration with Vimukthi Mission, Alappuzha, the Migrant Help Desk of Kottayam and Kollam districts, they organized an event on May 30 as a part of the KISMAT (Kerala Interstate Migrants Alliance for Transformation) project. 

The program was in line with World No Tobacco Day, celebrated annually on May 31. The annual event instructs the public on several subjects, such as the dangers of tobacco usage and the marketing strategies used by cigarette companies.

An awareness session highlighting the dangers of tobacco use was conducted for migrant workers in the Alappuzha district of Kerala, coinciding with the observance of Anti-Tobacco Day.

The event occurred at the Kakkazhom campsite in Ambalapuzha and witnessed an enthusiastic gathering of as many as 45 migrant laborers. 

Ms. Anju (coordinator, Vimukthi Mission, Alappuzha) led the session and expertly explained the physical and mental implications of consuming tobacco products. 

To ensure effective communication, the KISMAT coordinator translated the session into Hindi.

The informative session covered various aspects, including the detrimental effects of tobacco consumption on an individual's physical and mental health.

The resource person also sheds light on the legal aspects of selling and purchasing tobacco products, emphasizing the consequences of such actions.

BREADS is part of a global Don Bosco organization network operating in over 130 nations.

With 44 Don Bosco partners, BREADS has 29 years of expertise in the development field and has conducted 615 projects for the sustainable development of marginalized people, explicitly affecting more than 100,000 children, women, and youth in Kerala and Karnataka.

BREADS equips youth and communities with the knowledge and skills they need to become capable citizens who can exercise their rights. Additionally, the empowerment process encourages communities to live healthier lives by promoting sustainability in agriculture, tackling global warming, and clean energy.

The NGO draws its vision from Don Bosco, a priest and educator from the 19th century who devoted his life to young people, particularly the downtrodden, and serves as its model.

The Salesian Order’s projects and activities primarily focus on children, young people, and women, who are the most vulnerable and likely to experience abuse, neglect, and exploitation. -Santosh Digal


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