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“Youth taking to tobacco worrying”

Special Correspondent

— Photo: A. Muralitharan

MOTIVATING THE YOUTH: Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss (right), administering a pledge at the PMK’s youth wing rally at Cantonment Pallavaram on Saturday. (From left ) S.Ramadoss, G.K.Mani and Chengalpattu M.P. A.K.Moorthy, are in the picture.

Chennai: Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Anbumani Ramadoss on Saturday said responsible and dedicated youth alone could fight the ills in society and take the country forward.

Speaking at the Pattali Makkal Katchi’s Youth Wing’s rally in Cantonment Pallavaram, he said ever since he became Health Minister, his Ministry was waging a war against social ills, including consumption of tobacco and alcohol, especially among the youth.

He said as a study revealed that 15 per cent of children in the 13-15 age group consumed tobacco. Some years ago, the average age of Indian youth having their first contact with tobacco was 28. It came down gradually to 19 and now, the average age stood at 13.

Dr. Anbumani Ramadoss said India had the highest youth population in the world and such figures of young men and women taking to tobacco and alcohol were worrying and alarming. He administered a pledge of “ten commandments” urging youth to eliminate the ills of tobacco, alcohol, violence, extremism, obscenity, women slavery and dowry from the society and to prevent HIV/AIDS, female foeticide, fan clubs and environment pollution.

Party founder S.Ramadoss said the achievements of his son and Union Minister Dr. Anbumani Ramadoss on improving the health conditions of people were acknowledged all over the country, foreign governments and even United Nations, but there was no recognition or even acknowledgement from Tamil Nadu.

Leaders and the crowd observed a two-minute silence in the memory of 10 Tamilians who had committed suicide in support of the Sri Lankan Tamils’ struggle.

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