With the excuse of job placement, the multinational, death-selling company, British American Tobacco Bangladesh (BATB) has started its annual “Battle of Mind” competition this year.
Their representative “Exceed Campus Ambassadors” are been selected from different public and privet universities since early July.
These Ambassadors have started “Battle of Mind 2019” roadshows in different universities through career clubs. The slogan for this year’s campaign is “Change the Game”.
The event will take place at the University of Dhaka on 2 September 2019, and the competition will continue with much festivity in the following months.
The hidden objectives behind such competitive events are promoting BATB brands, alluring the young generation to the harmful habit of smoking and influencing the policymakers.
BATB has been organizing these events since 2004, and they invest a lot of money in the name of job placement. However, the data shows that although more than 30,000 students took part in the competition in the last 16 years, only about 100 have been recruited through these events.
Sponsorship of a tobacco company to organize and award any competitive events are prohibited according to Section 5(C) of Bangladesh Smoking and Tobacco Products Usage (Control) (Amendment) Act 2013; obstruction of which is punishable either by fining 1, 00,000 Tk or imprisonment for three months or both.
Such initiatives from BATB conflicts with achieving the “Tobacco-Free Bangladesh by 2040” that our Honorable Prime Minister declared.
Dhaka Ahsania Mission has sent a letter to University Grant Commission, Ministry of Education (MoE), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare(MoHFW) and National Tobacco Control Cell (NTCC) to stop the BATB sponsored “Battle of Mind” competition immediately.
DAM has also sent a letter to the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Dhaka to stop the “Battle of Mind 2019” roadshow that is scheduled to take place on 2 September.