Chandigarh, June 8
Recognizing its efforts in advancing tobacco control and strengthening National Tobacco Control Program in India, the World Health Organization (WHO) has awarded the Resource Center for Tobacco Control (e-RCTC) established under the Department of Community Medicine and School of Public Health, PGIMER, Chandigarh with the Regional Director Special Recognition Award on World No Tobacco Day – 2022.
Besides eRCTC, the award has been bestowed to H.E. Dr. Sathit Pitutecha from Thailand and Dr. Srabana Misra Bhagabaty from Assam, India.
The e-RCTC is an excellent one point reference point which collates all relevant information related to tobacco control in India including circulars/orders (1000+ from 36 states of India), policies and legislations, multidisciplinary publications, revealed Dr. Sonu Goel, Director, RCTC and Professor in Department of Community Medicine and School of Public Health at PGIMER, Chandigarh.
Besides being a resource hub, e-RCTC has achieved heights in capacity building by organizing 50+ workshops and webinars for around 3500+ program managers and academicians, Dr. Goel added. Mentioning about the official publication of e-RCTC “Tobacco-Free Times”, Dr. Rana J Singh, Deputy Regional Director, The UNION-SEA, stated that this theme-based newsletter is released bi-monthly containing a lot of material related to tobacco control, the tobacco industry, tobacco cessation, and much more and till date 19 editions of the newsletter have been released.
The Resource Center for Tobacco Control, a joint initiative of PGIMER and The UNION-SEA was conceptualized in 2018 in a national consultation by almost 25 organisations working in tobacco control in India in presence of then Health Secretary, Government of India.
The main aim of resource centre was to showcase various tobacco control initiatives and updates in country, legislation and policies, circular and orders arranged statewise, other resource materials, and so on.
Over a period of more than 3 years, E-RCTC has become increasingly engaged in systematically organizing technical resource material for capacity building of program implementers, academia and researchers, highlighted Dr. Goel.
E-RCTC is a first of its kind initiative in India, where, on one hand, one can access all the updates on Tobacco Control activities in India and on the other, it serves as a focal point for a broad range of research, education and public service activities regarding tobacco control in India, mentioned Dr. L Swasticharan, Addl. DDG, MoHFW, Government of India. Adding to this, Dr. Jagdish Kaur, Regional Advisor, Tobacco Free Initiative, WHO SEARO stated that e-RCTC is a beating heart of tobacco control movement in India.
The portal has attracted 4.2 lac visitors from around 100 countries in last 3 years, said Mr. Rajeev Kumar, Project Coordinator, e-RCTC and praised the efforts of Dr. Nidhi Jaswal, Technical Officer- RCTC and Endgame Hub and Dr. Kanika Mehta, Progam Officer (Documention and Coordination) in the regular collation, updation and population of data on the portal.