The Inception program on ‘Efforts for divestment of Government shares in British American Tobacco involving CSOs and Citizen Groups’ was held on December 9, 2018 with the cooperation of CTFK and Bloomberg initiatives implemented by ‘SUPRO’ at CBCB auditorium, Mohammadpur, Dhaka. In this event SUPRO National council, Campaign for tobacco free kids, different anti tobacco alliance, development organizations, CSOs and journalists were present and proclaimed solidarity to make tobacco free Bangladesh.
Bangladesh Government signed FCTC in 2003 later enacted the first Tobacco Control act in 2005. The project has started its journey through this Inception Program as a part of the implementation of the declaration of ‘Tobacco free Bangladesh within 2040’ by Prime Minister Seikh Hasina at South Asian Speakers summit in 31st January 2016 in Dhaka. At the same time this is the part of the implementation of the objectives 3(health), 11(safe city and communities) and 16 (live in peace) of the Sustainable development goals 2030. SUPRO has undertaken the project to make tobacco free Bangladesh by its nationwide networking efforts.
Welcome speech of inception meeting was given by S. M. Harun or Rashid Lal, President of SUPRO. He invited everybody especially the young generation to participate anti tobacco movement in order to create awareness in the District as well as at the Divisional level. M A Quader the General Secretary of SUPRO thanked all and expected to work together for the successful implementation of the project. An open discussion started on the project activities & strategies based on inception presentation.
Later, Farida Akter –Executive Director of UBINIG on behalf of the ‘Woman Anti -tobacco Alliance’ suggested to work with the policy makers for the successful outcome of the project. Kamal Uddin Ahmed –Executive Director of NATAB expected the success of the project through the active participation of everybody. Nadira Kiron Chief Reporter of ATN Bangla emphasizes to work with the involvement of the new generation in this journey. Monju Rani Pramanik Vice President of SUPRO stated that every political parties have to commit to implement of FCTC in their election manifestation.
Sariful Alam, the Lead Consultant of CTFK pointed out the real nature of the relationship of British American Tobacco with the government and asserted for the divestment and other involvement issues. He proclaimed solidarity and invited everybody to work together for tobacco free Bangladesh.