Mumbai seeks tobacco-free Ganesh puja

August 9th, 2011 - 8:46 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Aug 9 (IANS) The city’s Ganesh puja organisers will have to ensure that no one smokes or consumes tobacco inside their marquees during the 10-day festival this year, officials said Tuesday.

The Mumbai civic corporation, in association NGO ACT-India, Tuesday included the regulations of the national tobacco control law - the Control of Tobacco Products Act, 2003 - in the terms for granting licences for Ganesh mandals this year.

The NGO, which also initiated the Smokefree Mumbai Campaign, had advocated for these changes with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and the Brihanmumbai Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Samanvay Samiti.

Additional Municipal Commissioner Aseem Gupta said the initiative should be extended to all other social festivals. “This is a very good initiative and will help educate people against the ill effects of tobacco,” he said.

“We are planning to extend this initiative to other social festivals like Navratri,” he added.

To encourage the initiative, a ‘Tobacco Free Ganesh Mandal Competition, 2011′ too was announced. Marquees which adopt the best tobacco control practices will be awarded cash prizes.

Ganesh puja, one of the major festivals in the city and across Maharashtra, will be held Sep 1-11 this year.

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