Mahbubnagar Deputy Tahsildar, Maachana Raghunandhan, lost his friend due to tobacco addiction some time ago. Disturbed by his friend's untimely death, Raghunandhan made his life's mission to spread awareness about ill-effects of tobacco addiction.
Presently posted as Deputy Tahsildar in the Enforcement Wing of the Civil Supplies Department in Mahbubnagar district, Telangana, Raghunandan can be seen gifting handkerchief to anyone he finds smoking. "This handkerchief is my gift to you. Now, you gift yourself by quitting smoking or consuming tobacco products," says Raghunandan to all those he finds smoking.
Raghunandan has been running the anti-tobacco campaign for the past two decades now, reported The New Indian Express.
Raghunandan's college mate Deekshitutlu was his only friend whom he cherished. However, Deekshitutlu's addiction to smoking and chewing tobacco cost him his life. "When he realised that death is impending, he made me promise him that I would spread awareness about the ill-effects of using tobacco products. I will fulfil my promise," says Raghunandan.
While making people aware of the ill-effects of tobacco consumption, Raghunandan always reminds people of a tragedy. Some years ago a tractor driver was holding the steering wheel with one hand and had a cigarette in the other. The driver lost control of the vehicle near Bhongir some years ago and fell into the Musi canal. More than 12 people died in that tragic accident.
As Raghunandan says, "I always use public transport. Whenever I spot a smoker or a tobacco addict at a bus stand or in buses, I try to convince them to quit."
Impacted Several Lives
Through his efforts, Raghunandan has helped many people give up tobacco addiction. Once he spotted a man named Venkatesh who hailed from Narayanpet. Venkatesh's wife had left him due to his addiction to tobacco.
On learning about his situation, Raghunandhan made him promise that he would quit smoking and later called up Venkatesh's wife. As a result of his efforts, the couple has been living happily together.'
Raghunandan has received appreciation for his work. The National Resource Centre for Tobacco Control's (NRCTC) Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) complemented his efforts to save people from tobacco addiction.