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Health Department official writes to DDCA to remove surrogate tobacco ads from Feroz Shah Kotla

Feroz Shah Kotla is gearing up for a very busy season. After the ODI game, it will be home to city franchise Delhi Capitals in the upcoming IPL, starting March 23.

Feroz Shah Kotla
Feroz Shah Kotla. (Photo Source: Twitter)

No game comes even close to cricket as far as popularity in this nation is concerned. The country of over a billion lives and breathes cricket. No surprises then that cricketers in this country are treated like demigods and the fans blindly follow them no matter what they do. The players and governing body, on their part, also ensure that their actions are well received by the fans. Not very long ago, Indian cricket team skipper Virat Kohli had rejected a multi-crore offer to endorse a soft drink which very much tells how close the cricketers are to their fans and how much their actions affect the millions.

Perhaps this is the reason a Delhi Government Health Department official has reportedly written to the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA), to remove the hoardings of the banners from the Feroz Shah Kotla that promote tobacco products. The stadium in the national capital is filled with advertisements of tobacco products.

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With a busy schedule ahead for the stadium, the official has now urged DDCA to remove the banners as early as March 13 when India take on Australia in the fifth and final ODI.

“During the previous matches, we saw the pan masala advertisements and have information that they will be used during the matches in Delhi too. This is a violation of Section 5 of Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) that prohibits surrogate advertising,” Dr SK Arora, additional director of health services, Delhi government, was quoted as saying by The Hindustan Times.

Show-cause notice to DDCA

Dr Arora also revealed that he had issued a show-cause notice to the DDCA way back in 2017 for the banners before speaking on the reach of the game and why it is important to take down the banners.

“Earlier, when I was heading the tobacco control cell, I had issued a show-cause notice to the DDCA in 2017 for displaying such advertisements during a test match in Delhi. Cricket is followed by millions in India and has the power to influence youngsters. We need to protect them from tobacco. The DDCA should feel responsible to the society and remove the advertisement before the match, and stop these sponsorships,” he said.

Dr Arora is reportedly working with the tobacco control cell since 2012 and last year, received the World Health Organisation’s World No Tobacco Day award for his efforts.

Feroz Shah Kotla is gearing up for a very busy season. After the ODI game, it will be home to city franchise Delhi Capitals in the upcoming season of Indian Premier League, starting March 23.

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