The state government has made around 61,000 Anganbadi centres in Rajasthan tobacco-free. The government is also considering a ban on the sale of liquor near the Anganbadi centres.
“The Anaganbadi centre is an important place for the children up to 6 years of age and pregnant women. Healthy and clean environment is necessary at such place. Looking into this, the area needs to be made tobacco-free,” stated a directive issued recently by Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) director Suchi Sharma.
The directive states that no beneficiary, visitor and staff should consume tobacco in any form at the Anaganbadi centre.
“For awareness install signage at the centres. If any person is found consuming, a complaint can be made at toll free number 104, 0108 and 9983325744 (state consultant, national tobacco control programme),” stated the directive. In addition, the sale, purchase and production of tobacco have also been banned within 100 sqaure yard of an Anganbadi centre.
“The decision (to make Anganbadi centres tobacco-free) has been taken in order to discourage tobacco consumption and create awareness on the issue,” said Sharma.
She said, “Complaints of disturbance from liquor shops near Anganbadis are also being received. As there is concern for women and children at the centres, we are also planning to ban liquor shops near the centres.”
Commenting on the issue, state women and child development minister Anita Bhadel said, “Our objective is to keep children away from tobacco. If children see such things, there are chances they might pick up the habit.”