On the occasion of World Red Cross Day, an anti-addiction rally was organised at Leh in Jammu and Kashmir to spread the message about the ill-affects of smoking and alcohol.
Hundreds of school children from various schools whie participating in the rally, raised slogans against people's habits of smoking and drinking.
The Leh District Chapter of Red Cross Society and the Education Department of Jammu and Kashmir jointly hosted this mass rally.
Wearing black dresses outlined by pictures of skeletons smoking cigarettes, the children echoed various message against addictions.
Raising slogans such as 'Be Dear, Don't Drink Beer!', 'Liquor Consumption is Injurious to Health!' and 'Tobacco is Slow Poison,' the colourful placards, banners and posters were carried by the children with gusto.
"Our message is clear-cigarettes and beedi (hand rolled tobacco reefers) severely harm the body and also affect the family members. We appeal to people to avoid consuming these harmful substances," said P C Balwal, Principal, Ladakh Public School, Leh.
Conventional mass media, like tableaux drew everyone's attention at the rally.
No wonder, the onlookers were much impressed by these plays.
Some participants in the rally imitated the odd behaviour of alcoholics and smokers in a family to send across a strong message to the society.
"We are creating awareness amongst the people about the causes and harmful effects of smoking and drinking through jhankies (street plays). Even in schools, we motivate the children regularly to not take up smoking by informing them about the health hazards regularly," Sonam Dorjey, a school teacher said.
"Red cross day is celebrated across the world on May 8 every year. This year, we appeal to the masses to protect their health by not consuming cigarettes or alcohol. This way, the standard of our health would get better, and this would also benefit our future generations," said another teacher, Heera Lal Bhat.
The rally commenced from a government school and passed through the main market before culminating at the old JNV Hostel in Leh.