PANAJI: In a decisive move against the escalating crisis of electronic cigarettes and vaping devices infiltrating the lives of students in educational institutions, the Goa State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, in collaboration with the Directorate of Education, Goa Dental College and Hospital, and with support from the Rotary Club of Margao Midtown, spearheaded an intensive sensitization program on November 28, 2023, at Matanhy Saldanha Administrative Complex, Margao.
Aimed at over 150 heads of schools and nodal teachers of Prahari clubs across Salcette taluka, this event is not merely a program; it’s a battle cry. It signifies a war against the insidious impact of e-cigarettes on the physical and mental well-being of our students and the looming threat of addiction, which poses a grave risk to the very essence of our educational institutions.
Distinguished guests, including Peter F. Borges (Chairperson, Goa State Commission for Protection of Child Rights), Smt. Sindhu Prabhudessai (Deputy Director of Education), Rtn. Nilesh Loliencar (President, Rotary Club of Margao Midtown), and Shri Rajendra Prabhudessai (Deputy Superintendent of Police, South Goa), marked their presence at the inaugural program, signaling a united front against the challenges posed by the rampant use of e-cigarettes and vaping among students.
Chairperson Peter F. Borges stated unequivocally, “The infiltration of electronic cigarettes into the lives of our students demands our unwavering attention. In the face of this challenge, we must unite in our commitment to safeguarding the health and future of our students.”
Led by eminent experts, Dr Kashyap Bandodkar (BDS on Bond, Dept of Oral Medicine, and Radiology) and Dr. Akshatha Gadiyar (Assistant Professor, Dept of Public Health Dentistry), the sessions delivered a profound understanding of the current scenario of e-cigarette and vaping usage among students. Discussions delved into the health risks, covering both physical and mental well-being. Educators were equipped with skills to recognize early signs and intervene timely. Practical approaches and preventive measures for schools were presented, emphasizing engagement with parents, communities, and stakeholders.
This collaborative effort underscores the unwavering commitment of the Goa State Commission for Protection of Child Rights to safeguarding the well-being of students and fostering a healthy educational environment. As the scourge of e-cigarettes and vaping continues to impact our students, initiatives like these play a pivotal role in raising awareness and empowering educational leaders to effectively combat this growing public health concern.