Friday, 5 October 2012

Ban on Gutka (a tobacco product)–a welcome move!

It’s undoubtedly a welcome move on the part of the Uttar Pradesh (India) government to have banned the use of gutka in the State, of course in compliance to the orders of the Allahabad High Court. The Court passed this order on a PIL (Public Interest Litigation) filed by the Indian Dental Association. Gutka is already banned in 13 other States of the country. The order so passed by the State Government of Uttar Pradesh is implementable with effect from a future date i.e. April’ 2013. This, as the State Government says, has been done with a view to giving time to the workers engaged in gutka factories/ companies concerned to seek an alternative employment some where else before the ban goes effective. The fact is some what otherwise. Gutka has been a massive revenue earner for the State Government, and that is the real reason why they have been reluctant to ban this product all these years. So far as the time given for securing some alternative employment is concerned, such opportunities are badly scarce in Uttar Pradesh unlike Narendra Modi’s Gujarat, where such avenues are available in an ample measure. What was expected in a normal manner from the government of U.P. was to themselves generate such opportunities within the State itself instead of leaving the workers to run helter-skelter in search of some source to their alternative sustentation.

Tobacco products are a great menace to health mostly responsible for deadly diseases like cancer where gutka is the worst contributor, besides of course pan masala, bidi, cigarette including oral chewing of tobacco, and obviously the ban so imposed now is matter of a hearty welcome, but this is what must have been done much earlier.

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