Auto rickshaws are known as much for zippy transportation as they are for bumpy rides and fickle fares. But as a harbinger of health? Well, they are now being used as a vehicle to spread awareness of an important issue – the harmful effects of tobacco.
This Thursday, November 2, doctors from the US and ‘Doctors for You’ (DFY) India, a Mumbai-based NGO, started on a month-long rally with a mission to create awareness about the dangerous effects of tobacco. This rally, launched by the world-class Asian Heart Institute at BKC, Mumbai, includes a team of doctors from the US and India – from Mumbai, Delhi and Meerut – who plan to ride rickshaws through more than 100 cities and towns across six states.
The DFY Foundation is conducting the rally in collaboration with ‘Cross Cultural Care’ and Tata Cancer Centre. The doctors will board an overnight train to the blue city of Jodhpur, and from there they would ride camels to a village in Rajasthan to help the villagers. From there, onwards on their own auto-rickshaws, eastwards towards Agra, Uttar Pradesh and finally to New Delhi.
Along the entire route they would be escorted by two vans, and will be stopping to hold seven different health camps. At these camps they will give away medicines, counsel people, conduct poster exhibitions, show a documentary and educate the rural villagers on the ill effects of tobacco. Dr. Robert Montan, founder president of Cross Cultural Care, USA and his family are also participating in this rally.
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