statesman news service
Kolkata, 4 October
Award for the Best Smoke Free Puja 2013, is a unique campaign organised by the Calcutta Yellow Pages in association with the departments of health and family welfare, and the Cancer Foundation of India in Salt Lake, in a bid to promote a smoke-free environment during the Puja days. 
Road shows were held at the main traffic point in Karunamoyee, in Salt Lake, where smoke-free batches were distributed among the passers-by to circulate the message ~ ‘smoking in public is an offence’. 
They held their campaign in the form of a mega event, Sharod Shree 2013, which is also the name of the award that the organisers would present to the winning Puja committee in the city who will succeed in maintaining a no smoking environment in the pandals.
“Smoking is an offence and is punishable under law. Non-smokers must know that they are legally empowered to ask smokers to not smoke in  public places like Puja pandals and through this campaign we also aim to attract attention towards the  hazards of passive smoking,” said Mrs Sutapa Biswas, Executive Director of the Cancer Foundation of India. 
Volunteers and members of the foundation would be deployed in nearly 200 Puja pandals across the city to mark the winner of this contest. 
Co-operates and people from various walks of life joined hands for the awareness campaign supporting the cause of a smoke-free environment. 
Calcutta Yellow Pages aims to continue the campaign throughout the year with a continuous curriculum in various housing complexes, schools, colleges, industrial and business areas.  
The CEO of the Calcutta Yellow Pages, Mr Prodipta Saha, confirmed that hoardings, badges, car-stickers and road shows at major locations of Kolkata and Salt Lake are part of the promotional activities that have been undertaken for the campaign. 
Mr Saha said: “We intend to stop passive smoking by trying to ban smoking in public places. Celebrating our 25th year in this city, we joined hands with the health department of the government and took up the campaign idea, of the Cancer Foundation, to create a smoke-free city."