Drug Rehabilitation Education and Mentoring (DREAM) is a rights-based initiative from BREADS that aims to empower children and youth in Kerala to dream beyond drugs. World No Tobacco Day, observed on 31 May, is significant to DREAM’s interventions because across the world, nicotine is the most common socially accepted gateway to more deadly substance use. Tobacco products are also a massive source of environmental pollution.
DREAM teams across 10 districts in Kerala came up with innovative ways to raise awareness among more than 2650 adults and children about the adverse impact of tobacco on the health of people and the planet. Some of them are mentioned here:
- Training for parents with the Centre for Overall Development in Thamarassery and Koorachundu panchayats, Kozhikode.
- Training for children in collaboration with Kudumbashree members in Ramapuram panchayat, Kottayam.
- Medical camp focussed on oral health and the impact of tobacco, in collaboration with Vimukthi Mission Trivandrum and Indian Dental Association, for the people of Podiyakala tribal settlement, Thiruvananthapuram.
- A cycle rally, flash mobs, and street plays at public places in Kollam organised in association with the Thope Don Bosco Youth Centre, DB Youth Forum, MMNSS College and the Excise Department.
- A Boat to Boat campaign in Alappuzha about the environmental impact of tobacco use generated through public discussions. Face painting was used to communicate concepts innovatively.
- Awareness campaigns using information materials were conducted among passengers, railway staff and Police at Ernakulam railway station in collaboration with Railway CHILDLINE. An Anti-Tobacco signature campaign was taken up.
- Trainings on the role of parenting skills in the prevention of drug abuse were conducted in Kolikkadavu, Kannur, in association with the Iritty Excise Department and Kudumbashree.
- A public rally by students and teachers in Muttil town, Wayanad, flagged off by the Assistant Excise Commissioner, spread awareness on the ill effects of tobacco use.
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