Education Ministry Kicks Off Anti-Tobacco Campaign with a “Promise To Protect”



On the auspicious occasion of Gandhi Jayanti, the Indian Ministry of Education has initiated the ‘Promise To Protect’ campaign, a robust effort aimed at combating the growing menace of youth tobacco addiction. Under this ambitious campaign, educators from all corners of the nation have pledged their commitment to maintain tobacco-free environments within their schools.

The ‘Promise to Protect’ digital campaign, launched on this significant day, is a solemn vow to shield students and young generations from the harmful grasp of tobacco. This initiative draws inspiration from the alarming statistics revealed by the Global Youth Tobacco Survey-4 (2019), which indicates that a staggering 38% of cigarette smokers, 47% of bidi smokers, and 52% of smokeless tobacco users in India begin their tobacco consumption journey before their 10th birthday. Aligned with the government’s unwavering commitment to fostering tobacco-free educational institutions, this campaign’s primary objective is to prevent the youth from falling victim to tobacco addiction.

Over 1,000 educators from across the nation attended the digital conference and witnessed participants taking an online pledge to safeguard their schools and students against the perils of tobacco. Steering this impactful event was the renowned actor and presenter, Karanvir Bohra. Esteemed speakers such as Sanjay Kumar, Secretary of School Education; Dr. Joseph Emmanuel, Director of Academics (CBSE); Dr. Pankaj Chaturvedi of Tata Memorial Hospital; and Dr. Vishal Rao, Group Director for Head and Neck Surgical Oncology at HCG Cancer Centre, shared their insights on this critical issue. Additionally, individuals who had suffered due to tobacco use shared their harrowing journeys, shedding light on the devastating consequences of tobacco addiction. Teachers also shared their personal stories related to tobacco use, underscoring the campaign’s gravity.

Educators at the conference expressed their unwavering commitment to incorporating anti-tobacco education into their curriculum, recognizing it as an essential component of their mission.


Drawing inspiration from Mahatma Gandhi’s teachings, Karanvir Bohra highlighted the significance of collective efforts in securing a tobacco-free India for future generations. The conference also commemorated India’s journey towards becoming a “Nasha Mukt Bharat” (a drug-free nation), a government initiative that commenced on the same date in 2008, emphasizing the role of teachers as heralds of a tobacco-free future.

This impactful campaign was executed in partnership with the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases, with the active participation of 21 civil society organizations in mobilizing pledges nationwide. Together, they are committed to realizing a brighter, tobacco-free future for the nation’s youth.




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