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Anti-Smoking Awareness Program

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010
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On March 6th, 2010, we conducted an Anti-Smoking/Tobacco Awareness Program at BBMP Boys High School, Malleshwaram.

Note: You can download the Presentation and the skit in the link at the end

OBJECTIVES:

•    To educate/create awareness among high school students about the risks of Tobacco use. We are aiming at Prevention, and not cure.
•    To at least make them think twice before they take to tobacco.
•    To present things in a manner which the children can understand & find interesting (i.e. by avoiding boring/repetitive “Smoking is Injurious to Health” Lectures)
•    As far as possible, have young guys involved in the project. The idea is that boys will be more influenced if guys of their generation were actually going against Tobacco.

MAKING IT HAPPEN

We started by showing a brief, yet impressive, Anti-Smoking Ad to get the students’ attention, and to set the mood [serious, not comical].

Then, after a very brief talk on what to expect, we began with our skit.

We decided to enact a skit which most children could relate to. Also, dialogues were avoided; the message was conveyed by effective acting and suitable background music [which set the mood for each scene].
The skit progressed simultaneously with the Power-Point Presentation in 4 stages. After each stage, the Presentation gave some educational information about what was happening to the smoker [in the skit] from beginning to end.
The Program ended with an Oath-taking ceremony.

ABOUT THE SKIT AND OATH

The skit showed the story of most smokers – they start when very young, get addicted, then at some point, they realize they ought to quit but struggle to. Then they either Give Up or Overcome It. We presented both situations in the skit; the idea was to tell the audience that the choice is theirs.
We concluded by requesting the convinced students (all of them fell under this category) to take an OATH to not use tobacco products, in any form. The Oath was led by the protagonist of the skit; volunteers and kids alike repeated after him. It was a fitting conclusion to the awareness session.

This was followed by a ceremony where badges were pinned onto the uniforms of those who took the Oath. These badges are meant to serve as a reminder of the Awareness created.

ABOUT THE PRESENTATION

•    To maximize impact, we made sure the presentation was not a monologue, but a very interactive session wherein the presenter continuously involved the students by posing questions and inviting responses.
•    The PowerPoint Presentation covered the following topics:
    The various forms in which tobacco is used-Cigarettes, Beedis, Chewing Paan, Gutkha, etc.
    The various [harmful] components present in cigarettes and beedis
    How Nicotine causes addiction; Nicotine Withdrawal Symptoms
    The Health hazards of using tobacco- short and long term
    The Harmful effects of Passive Smoking
    About Quitting (in brief, since the students aren’t tobacco users)
    The benefits of quitting (immediate and long-term)

RESPONSE OF THE AUDIENCE

•    The students responded enthusiastically to the questions posed during the Presentation, and were very involved throughout
•    The effective and realistic portrayal of the characters in the skit helped create the desired impact- the students went along with the change of moods
•    The choice of background music assisted in creating the right effect at various scenes
•    When asked to take the Oath, the students (and some teachers too) eagerly stood up, their right hands extended forward, and took the Oath enthusiastically; this was followed by a thunderous applause
•    The distribution of badges was also received with a lot of excitement


ABOUT THE VOLUNTEERS

•    Presentation – By Anand Baskaran
He presented the matter in an easy-to-understand manner by using several slides with pictures, maximizing visual impact, and by constantly involving the students in the program with thought-provoking questions.

•    Skit –
Vikshut (Protagonist)- He had the most important & difficult-to-portray role, which involved several very intense scenes. He carried it off with aplomb; had the audience completely captivated.

The rest of the cast included Sinu. Siddharth, Anand, Anjani, Naveen, Manjunath, Vikram, all of whom played their respective roles very effectively and made the success of the Program a possibility.

A special mention about:
    Shreya, who worked behind the scenes and co-ordinated the music and slideshow.
    Vivek, who captured the sequence of events on Camera
    Mr. Baskaran and Mrs. Indira Baskaran for helping us during the rehearsals
    Smitha and Neha, for their encouragement and support

A big Thanks to Mr.Venkatesh Murthy for gracing the occasion with his presence, and for his continuous         encouragement at every step.

Gratitude is also due to the Headmistress and Teachers of B.B.M.P School for being so supportive of our activities, and providing all the necessary help.

CONCLUSION

Although only time will tell if the program produces the desired long-term results, the immediate response was positive- a lot of kids took the initiative to come up to the volunteers and express gratitude. The teachers were also appreciative of our efforts.

We hope that the students, in the very least, think twice before resorting to tobacco use.

Note: You can download the Presentation and the skit in the below link

1. Download the Skit and Presentation at

http://docs.google.com/leaf?id=0B5o0ef41SWkJOTY0NjBlMWItNGRiMC00ZDIwLWE1MWEtZDdkMWNhNWM3YmQ3&sort=name&layout=list&num=50

2. List of Props for Skit –

https://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=0AbPhxezo6K32ZGhnNG0yd2dfMTJuNDM3OGNjcg&hl=en

3. Back ground music For Skit –

http://docs.google.com/leaf?id=0B4BLi7K-iWAXOWIzZTM5M2YtMDIyYi00ODgzLTlmNzktMTM1YmE2NDExNmZi&hl=en

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