The most vivid clinical case etched in my mind from my undergraduate years was of a 13 year old child suffering from oral cancer caused by chewing of tobacco in the form of Gutka which was easily accessible, being sold in flashy packets just outside the school gates on a bicycle in a nearby village. The young child had no clue as to the consequences of consuming such conveniently attainable cancer causing substances and on asked he replied, “I knew it was a bad thing but I didn’t know it would take away my life.” That was it. This marked my turning point and inspiration at the same time. I started on my social work journey and volunteered for more than 6 organizations learning about the ways of social work and altruism on ground level. In mid-August 2014, with me, my husband and a couple of friends who had faith in my inherent goodness; ATTAC -Aim to Terminate Tobacco and Cancer was born.
A step forward … Tobacco, by far is the most widely sold legal drug in the market. Smoking tobacco contains over 60 known carcinogens and smokeless has over 30. My fight was against tobacco and its widespread addiction, and dishearteningly out of the many addicted people whom we counsel, only a handful successfully quit tobacco while some leave therapy mid-way, never to be seen again. De-addiction counselling isn’t always successful. We deal with so much failure everyday but it’s a fight worth fighting for even if a single person emerges de addicted, it’s worth all the effort. I started ATTAC because we were ready to hold the patients hand and be there even when they fail. A brief about the pillars of ATTAC Dr. Sumedha Kushwaha BDS, MDS (Public Health Dentistry)Founder and General Secretary ATTAC Head of Public Health, UE LifeSciences Pvt. Ltd.School for Social Entrepreneurs Fellow, 2017Fellow Atal Incubation Centre Banasthali Vidyapith, Women Entrepreneurship Sprint 2.0Medical Consultant with Yuvraj Singh Foundation (YouWeCan)Co Founder: Bliss 32 Dental Clinic- A Multi Speciality Oral Health Care CentreIndustry Expert at Amity Institute of Public HealthCourse in NGO Management and Tobacco Control Dr. Khundrakpam NganbaBDS, MDS (Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry), FAMCo-founder ATTAC Academic Expert at Amity Institute of Public HealthBliss 32 Dental Clinic – A Multi Speciality Oral Health Care CentreFaculty for Maharana Pratap Dental College, Gwalior.