Drive against tobacco

Rita Dhital


It was early Saturday morning at Tundikhel. The greens were crowded by the usual bunch of morning walkers, footballers and cricketers, happy and vigorous in their routine. Added to it all, was a motley group in yellow T-shirts who had gathered with their cars numbered and decorated with stickers and slogans. It was the preparation of Motorcar Rally and race organised in aid of Nepal Cancer Relief Society by Rotary Club of Bagmati in association with Nepal Motor Sports Club for the first time with the aim of disseminating the message of anti-smoking to people in the four districts of Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Bhaktapur and Kavre the rally passed. There were altogether 50 motorcars participating in the rally. With a slogan of “Quit Smoking,” it was mainly sponsored by DHL, cosponsors including JK Tyre, Nepal Investment Bank, Toyota, Annapurna Post, Everest Insurance, Union Finance, Yeti Airlines, Image Channel, Royal Nepal Airlines, Mahindra and Mahindra and Bolden Battery.

The rally left at 9:20 am with an aim to cover a distance of 100 km. Marshals were placed at six points to check timings. Chief guests Mr Mukunda Malla from DHL and Gopal Sundar Lal Kakshapati, jointly flagged off the first car driven by Hemant Golchha at 8:35 am. Dr Ragendra

Baral, cancer specialist and the central member of Nepal Cancer Relief Society was also one of the participants. Sharing his experiences of the rally, Dr Baral said, “Since smoking is the cause of a number of diseases and the number one cause of lung cancer, a rally of this kind should be a regular feature in Nepal.”Diwakar Rajkarnikar, president of Rotary Club of Bagmati, shared, “More than 60,000 people die in the world of tobacco related diseases and in our country the figure is more than 15,000.” Chairperson Mr Yadav Kharel announced his decision to quit smoking on the occasion.

At the end of the event, prizes were announced. The trophy and certificate for the best decorated car went to Car No. 12 representing Hotel Radisson. Tenzing Lama’s slogan

“smoking lies, your life dies, smoking kills, your family bills, smoking plays, family pays,” won the prize for the best anti-smoking slogan. Car No. 1 driven by Hemant Golchha and

navigator Navin Bansal was second runner up and the team of Saishab Lal Shrestha and Ayush Lal Shrestha were first runner up. The winner was Car No. 26, driven by Milan Gurung and Deepshikha Gurung.