Showing posts with label Adolescents. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Adolescents. Show all posts

Adolescents & Youth at risk, OTT programs are replete with tobacco scenes influence them

The most shocking reality is that 12-16-year-old adolescents who watched scenes of their stars on the OTT were 2-3 times more likely to try smoking," revealed Dr. Uma Kumar, Professor at AIIMS, Delhi...

Dr. Shekhar Mande, National President of Vigyan Bharati, an RSS-affiliated organization, has emphasized the critical importance of implementing tobacco warnings on Over-The-Top (OTT) platforms. He stated that this initiative is not only scientifically justified but also culturally necessary. This was echoed by Mr. Priyank Kanungo, Chairperson of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), who firmly asserted that efforts to make tobacco use attractive on OTT platforms will not be permitted to succeed. He further announced that 10 lakh school students across the country will actively promote awareness in this regard. Distinguished educationists and public health experts also lauded the introduction of tobacco warnings, highlighting their pivotal role in safeguarding the health of children and youth.

On May 31st, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) introduced regulations mandating tobacco warnings on OTT platforms, which came into effect on September 1st. However, while these rules are now in force, the government is still in the process of addressing concerns raised by the OTT industry, with potential accommodations expected soon.

Dr. Shekhar Mande, President of Vijnana Bharati and Former Director General of CSIR, emphasized the robust scientific evidence supporting tobacco control measures and their indispensable role in safeguarding citizens' health. He stated, “Scientific research unambiguously underscores tobacco's detrimental health impact. Equally robust is the evidence supporting the efficacy of tobacco control measures. Embracing these measures is our collective responsibility to safeguard our citizens. The Government of India, driven by its commitment to citizen welfare, has taken a commendable step by introducing warnings on OTT content. In instances where tobacco-related scenes are depicted on OTT series or movies, health spots will reinforce the message of potential hazards.”

Dr. Mande, recipient of the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize, India's highest science award, noted, "Scientific research backs this initiative, demonstrating how various entertainment platforms can inadvertently promote tobacco products."

During a webinar hosted by Tobacco Free India, a group of concerned citizens, a panel of distinguished speakers gathered to discuss the critical issue of tobacco glamorization on OTT platforms. The discussion, titled "Countering Tobacco Glamorization for a Healthier Next-Generation," examined the impact of tobacco imagery on young minds and the role of new regulations in addressing this concern.

The panel, featuring notable experts in the fields of healthcare, child rights, and science, also included Mr. Priyank Kanoongo, Chairperson of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR); Dr. Surekha Kishore, First Executive Director of AIIMS Gorakhpur; Dr. Uma Kumar, Founder Head of the Rheumatology Department at AIIMS Delhi; and Dr. Shyama Chona, a prominent educationist, Padma Bhushan awardee, and Founder-President of the Tamana Association.

NCPCR Chairperson Urges Early Implementation of Restrictions on Tobacco Scenes on OTT

Mr. Priyank Kanoongo, Chairperson of NCPCR, voiced his strong support for the earliest possible implementation of restrictions on tobacco scenes on OTT platforms. He underscored the vulnerability of youth to the glamorization of tobacco and emphasized the need for proactive measures. Mr. Kanoongo stated, "Our young population remains especially vulnerable to the glamorization of tobacco. The Global Youth Tobacco Survey reveals that over half of students notice anti-tobacco messages in mass media. Our unwavering responsibility is to protect them from the harmful allure of tobacco." He announced that 10 lakh children across the country will commence an awareness campaign through Prahari Clubs established in schools nationwide.

Tobacco Epidemic Claims 13.5 Lakh Lives, OTT Rules Essential for Saving Lives: Dr. Surekha Kishore

Dr. Surekha Kishore, First Executive Director of AIIMS Gorakhpur, emphasized the critical role of tobacco warning rules for OTT platforms. Highlighting the alarming statistics of tobacco-related deaths, she noted, "In India, around 1.35 million lives are lost to tobacco-related diseases every year. This staggering figure underscores the pressing need for unified efforts against the tobacco epidemic. In recent years, OTT platforms have emerged as a powerful medium of entertainment for millions. Their responsibility cannot be underestimated. It's vital for the entertainment industry to embrace its role in shaping perceptions and influencing choices."

Prominent educationist Shyama Chona, recipient of India's highest civilian awards, Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan, stressed that when the question concerns the lives and health of millions of children, the OTT industry should prioritize children's future over profits. She asserted that it is the industry's responsibility to provide wholesome entertainment to its viewers, and they cannot shirk this responsibility.

Dr. Uma Kumar, Founder Head of the Rheumatology Department at AIIMS Delhi and recipient of the National Award for Science Communication by the President of India, also wholeheartedly supported the comprehensive and immediate implementation of OTT regulations. She highlighted that these rules are a welcome step by the government, especially in safeguarding children's health. The industry should wholeheartedly embrace them.

VARTAH - India’s Largest Summit on Risk Management for Adolescents held in Delhi

An innovative national level school counsellors' summit that brought together school counsellors from across the country for ‘VARTAH: Values - Awareness – Reform – Thrive – Action - Hope. A summit on Managing Risk Behaviour for school children was organized by GD Goenka University in collaboration with Fortis Mental Health Program on 21 & 22 July 2023.


VARTAH aims at nurturing a positive mental health culture within educational ecosystems, offers a distinctive platform for school counsellors and educators to engage in conversations focused on awareness, reforms, and actions concerning the well-being of children and adolescents.


The event featured insightful expert talks led by distinguished speakers from King’s University Canada, James Cook University, Singapore, and several experts from international education. Sessions focused on risk identification, proposing practical solutions to prevalent issues and challenges in child and adolescent mental health and examples of how these issues are managed across various geographical and cultural landscapes globally. 


Dr. Samir Parikh, Chairperson, Fortis National Mental Health Program said “Empowering children in their formative years with skills for life that help them navigate through ups and downs with confidence, self-belief and resilience is essential, that takes them on their individual paths of success, are able to have meaningful relationships and contribute to the society. A focus on mental health and well-being as an integral part of education is critical to ensure positive overall growth.”


Prof. (Dr.) Anjali Midha Sharan, Dean, Research & Development and School of Humanities, Social Science and Education, GD Goenka University said: “VARTAH shall focus on de-stigmatizing mental illness and enabling counsellors with skills required for helping adolescents in vulnerable environments. This shall be an extension of the University’s focus on propagating mental well-being and integrating psychological health into mainstream education. The event brings together mental health experts, school counsellors and teachers creating opportunities for dialogue around action required for propagating psychological well-being of the youth.”


Established in 2013 and located in Gurugram, Delhi NCR, GD Goenka University is a leading multi-disciplinary institution of higher education. Established with a vision to redefine education and empower the next generation of thought leaders, the university rooted in a rich heritage of culture and armed with a forward-looking approach, offers undergraduate, postgraduate, and doctoral programmes that transcend traditional boundaries and equip our students with the skills and knowledge to thrive in an ever-evolving global economy. Committed to academic rigor, research and innovation, and holistic development, the university is dedicated to nurturing intellectual curiosity, fostering creativity, and producing socially responsible global citizens.