If the Food and drug administration (FDA) department spearheading the anti-gutkha campaign in the state has its way, Ganesh mandals in Aurangabad will sport anti-tobacco messages this Ganesh Chaturthi, starting from September 9, to raise citizens' awareness on the ill-effects of tobacco, gutkha and paan masala. To spread awareness about the ill-effects of tobacco, the department has decided to organise a competition among Ganesh mandals and award the one exhibiting the best anti-tobacco messages, through scenes and tableaux. The FDA will also felicitate mandals that display live scenes against addiction during the immersion procession.
Mandals that wish to compete will have to register with the FDA and procure a permit from the Aurangabad municipal corporation ( AMC). Each mandal will have to submit its list of office-bearers, three photographs of its president and ID proof and pay a registration fee of Rs 100. Detailed information on the process is available with the joint commissioner (Aurangabad division), FDA office, Nath Super Market.
"With the Maharashtra government extending the ban on the sale of gutkha and paan masala by another year, the Food and drug administration department in the division has geared up to strictly impose the ban and take action against offenders," said Chandrashekhar Salunke, FDA joint commissioner, food, Aurangabad division.