Gariphema, a small village of Nagaland has set an example to all by being the first Tobacco Free Village in India
Every Indian villages and metros must learn a lesson from the Gariphema village, a small village in Nagaland. The reason being that Gariphema village has been declared as the first tobacco free village in India on World No Tobacco Day, while Nagaland ranks second in tobacco consumption among all states in the North Eastern states of India.
This was a result of the initiative taken by the Gariphema village council, village vision cell and village students’ union. A resolution was taken at this first tobacco free village in India that whoever sells alcohol and tobacco or whoever gets drunk and disturbs peace would be imposed a fine of Rs. 1000 while those consuming alcohol, bidi, paan, betel nut or smokeless tobacco on the street and public places would be fined Rs. 500.
Facts reveal that India accounts roughly for 10 per cent of world’s tobacco smokers and is the third largest producer of tobacco leaf in the world. It has been estimated that every six seconds, someone in the world dies from tobacco use, and approximately the sixth death occurs in India. The Report on Tobacco Control in India (2004) said that nearly 8-9 lakh people die every year in India due to diseases related to tobacco use. India has the highest number of oral cancer cases in the world.
Small changes can make a big difference. That is what ‘Gariphema’ village has proved by setting a milestone for the rest of the world to follow. This inspiring story of the first tobacco free village in India reminds us about a famous quote of Mahatma Gandhi – ‘In a gentle way, you can shake the world’.