CAPTION: Pandit Kamlesh Arya.
The Arya Pratinidhi Sabha of Fiji applauds the Ministry of Health bold decision to ban tobacco smoking from public places and strongly supports this well overdue initiative of the government.
The initiative to legally banning smoking in public places is laudable said Mr. Kamlesh Arya the Sabha’s new Media Relations Officer.
According to Mr. Arya the Sabha took a decisive action in 1988 to ban smoking at all its education institutions.
“Initially the reactions from teachers who smoked were aggressive citing breach of their human rights,” Mr. Arya said.
However, the Sabha stuck to its decision and over these 25 years of ban has brought comfort to approximately ten thousand non smokers in some 26 of its institutions each year, majority of who are students.
Since then Sabha schools and institutions have remained smoke free and smokers have accepted the rule that has become an integral part of the institutions policies and regulations, stated Mr. Arya.
In 1988 the Sabha began its social responsibility towards those under its care at its various institutions and the Sabha was happy to note that the Ministry’s move to ban smoking in public places was adding value to its 25 years old decision in this regard.
The Sabha strongly believes that there is a need for collective and focused endeavours of all concerned persons to help eradicate smoking and promote good health habits to build a healthier and wealthier nation and the Sabha makes an appeal to all School Managements and public spirited persons to provide their support to this health promoting initiative of the Ministry of Health by banning smoking in their premises, said Mr. Arya.
Mr. Arya said that Sabha looked forward to working with the Ministry of Health to promote good health and wellness issues.