Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Tobacco Kills, i knew IT

It was one gloomy Monday morning I bid good bye to my darling and spend lonely hours at hotel in Phuntsholing. Outside the rain was hammering on the roof and the dark cloud had engulfed whole busy town. But I didn’t stay long. By 0900 hours the rumbling bus started its journey towards Paro.
The journey was exciting. The chilly fresh breezes filtered through my unkempt hair as I craned outside half opened window of the bus. Inside the whole bus was vibrating with soothing music’s. With me in last row of the seat were two couples in their early twenties.

It was at Chuzom, we were stopped by four uniformed men and women. No sooner did the bus driver applied load on brake, they stepped in. All I thought was they were checking the Identity cards as they normally do. But it was not, they wanted all our hand bags to be out so that they can check for tobacco products.
One by one they unzip every bag that their hands could reach and finally they came to last seat. A lady in uniform called her superior saying there was two packets of BaBa, and immediately he was asked to step outside the bus. And a minute later same lady unearth another, there it was bigger in number. There were some 11 packets of BaBa rapped in jeans.
These two couples were asked to produce the tax receipt. They don’t have it. All their answer was they didn’t knew about paying taxes and it was for their own consumption.
I doubt the intension of the one with 11 packets of BaBa but the one with only two packets, he really seemed he didn’t knew that he will be punished for. He could have hid it anywhere even under his own foot if he wanted to. But instead he left it open saying it’s for my own consumption.
This tobacco related issue had many businessmen and women, farmers and monks, construction workers and our young students put behind the bar. There were some 92 arrested in 2011, 57 in 2012 and 40 in 2013.
After the draconian tobacco act of 2011 failed due to protests from various sides including the social networking sites, certain clauses of act was relaxed.
It’s lucky that they don’t have to serve the prison terms for revised tobacco act but seems they will be landing up paying huge fines for a packet of Baba.
Well I don’t blame our uniformed men and women for it are their duty.

 There lots of sign boards about permissible tobacco related products that one can import. Our illiterate farmers, they can neither read nor do they have any sources of information that they can accessed. Therefore they are so vulnerable to be caught in this net. What have we done for them to educate about the existence of such laws? Indeed back there in my village we don’t even have the FM radio services forget about the televisions.

Everyone is responsible for this. As young boy I don’t go for tobacco products. Doing this I don’t have to buy these contraband substances from a shopkeeper who has in stocks through black market. I save them from putting their life in danger. I keep my friends away of such products. My parents don’t have to spend extra expenses for such double prized products available in today’s market. Won’t it be wise if the money you spend to buy this products are instead spend for your loved and needy ones?

What will we lose if we stay away from these products? Will you die if you don’t have these products? NO, but one should remember Tobacco KILL’s.

Let’s stay away from it.

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