On 6 March 2021, NCRS in collaboration with NDRI organized a day-long interactive workshop in Avocado and Orchid Hotel, Hetauda, Makwanpur District. The title of the Workshop is “Tobacco control in Nepal”. The main objective of the workshop was to summarize why tobacco control is needed and need to raise the profile of tobacco issue to promote further action, to find out the issues in enforcing the tobacco control measures, to advocate for stronger policies. In particular, tobacco taxation and building stronger alliance for advocacy against tobacco use and raising tobacco tax. NDRI also released it's two policy brief series of tobacco issues: “Perspectives on illicit trade of tobacco products in Nepal” and “Understanding the economic burden of tobacco use in Nepal”. These series were release by Mr. Sanu Kumar Shrestha – Speaker of Provincial Assembly along with other special guests of the event.
The Chief Guest of the event was Mr. Sanu Kumar Shrestha, Speaker of Provincial Assembly, Bagmati Province The other special guests of the events were Honourable Rameshwor Phuyal , Infrastructure Development Minister of Bagmati Province; Honourable Nuchhe Narayan Shrestha, Member of Parliament and President, Public Account Committee of Bagmati Province; Honourable Juneli Shrestha, Member of Parliament of Bagmati Province; Honourable Santa Bahadur Praja, Member of Parliament of Bagmati Province; Ms. Mina Kumari Lama, Deputy Mayor of Hetauda Sub-Metropolitan City; Mr. Laba Sher Bista, Mayor of Thaha Minicipality;
Mr. Shyam Kumar Basnet, National Planning Commission; and Mr. Kunja Joshi, Deputy Director of NHEICC.
Through this program, a resolution – “Hetauda Declaration” consisting of 5 commitments were prepared. The declaration was read aloud in the event by Mr. Devi Prasad Prasai which was signed by Bagmati Province, Hetauda Sub-Metropolitan City, NCRS, NDRI and DBIEA. This signed declaration was handed over to the representatives of Bagmati Province and Hetauda Sub-Metropolitan City.
An interactive group discussion was also carried out where the participants/ audience were divided into 4 major groups. Each group was given the topics: “Drawbacks of current tobacco policy and what changes are needed”, “Tobacco policy implementation challenges and its mitigation measures”, “Raising tobacco tax and implementation issues” and “Tobacco Free Village – Hetauda Ward - 16”.
The workshop brought a strong commitment from local stakeholders and provincial government for controlling tobacco use. There ever presence of more than 95 people along with media representatives. The Hetauda workshop went well as we got to bring together wide range of people and stakeholders/ politicians together where different discussions relating to tobacco related issues were done. On the basis of these, certain strategy and challenges were figured out. We also got to know that maximum of the public are very much against tobacco use. Through this workshop, we also figured out that there is possibility that Hetauda might be the first city to initiate a "Tobacco-Free Village" concept.