KAMALABARI (MAJULI), Nov 19 - To sensitise indigenous population and thousands of travel-weary visitors against the harmful effects of chewing and smoking tobacco, historic Uttar Kamalabari Satra (established in 1673) has trained hundreds of volunteers at the river-island Majuli who will advise devotees and other visitors not to consume the narcotic substances on any cultural premises in the ensuing crowd-pulling event, Rass Mohotsav.
It is worth mentioning that the satra never allowed any of its devotees or visitors to consume either tobacco or its product on the premises in any festival or ritual since its establishment.
As the Satradhikar, Janardan Dev Goswami, has been taking up several initiatives to make the islanders conscious of health for past several years, hundreds of locals hoped that the new anti-tobacco campaign would make the river-island free from hazardous effects of smoking and consuming raw-tobacco.
�Good condition of physical health and mind are the utmost need of every person. Our common effort will make people understand about the ill-effects of tobacco that causes fatal diseases in human body,� said Satradhikar Janardan Dev Goswami.
It is pertinent to be mentioned that Uttar Kamalabari Satra would serve free food daily for all the devotees, indigenous and foreign visitors on the premises from 8 am to 6 pm in the ensuing Rass Mohotsav which will continue from November 25 to 27 this year.
Soon, services of two ambulances will be launched by the satra for the visitors and other people in the river island.
Officials of Jorhat district tobacco control cell (DTCC) recently trained several volunteers of different organising committees of Rass festival in the cultural auditorium of Uttar Kamalabari Satra. Along with the nodal officer, Dr Bhaktimay Bhattacharya, of DTCC, other officials and resource persons like Dipak Hazarika, Prakhil Bora, Dipti Saikia, Jagannath Agni Bora and few others advised all the volunteers to alert the people on various diseases caused by tobacco.
�Every one of us should fight the tobacco menace. It will be a major sensitisation programme against the ill-effects of tobacco in the ensuing Rass festival. We hope the initiatives taken by Uttar Kamalabari Satra will be considered as a historic milestone in the anti-tobacco movement in future,� said nodal officer Dr Bhattacharya.
Along with the Satradhikar, Dev Goswami, and the DTCC officials, Satradhikar of Bor Alengi Satra Bhabananda Dev Goswami, circle officer Anil Das, Principal of Majuli College Dr Devajit Saikia, sub-divisional medical officer (SDMO) Dr Dhruba Jyoti Saikia, volunteers and several teachers and students also attended the training programme.
Expressing concern over the illegal sale and distribution of domestic and foreign liquor in the Vaishnavite pilgrims� island, the SDMO requested all the officials concerned of sub-divisional administration to take effective measures to stop such illegal activities in Majuli.