Battle of Mind 2019 road show stopped at BRAC University

With the excuse of job placement, the multinational, the British American Tobacco Bangladesh (BATB) has started their 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” road shows in different universities through career clubs. The slogan for this year’s campaign is “Change the Game”. British American Tobacco Bangladesh sponsored road show “Battle of Mind” was to be held on 16 September 2019 at the BRAC University. Dhaka Ahsania Mission and other anti-tobacco activist organizations such as, National Heart Foundation, PROTYASHA, UBINIG, TCRC, and Wbbtrust etc took the initiative to stop the event at the university. Representatives from the organizations have met with Assistant Professor and Director, Office of Student Affairs, Dilara Afroz Khan Rupa, today on 16 September 2019. The delegates demanded the road show to be stopped. Honorable Professor assured them that the event will not be happening tomorrow. They also guaranteed that such events will not take place at the university campus in future. The anti tobacco team given thanks to her. Moreover, to stop battle of mind DAM sent a letter to Vice-Chancellor of University.
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 last 16 years, but only about 100 have been recruited through these events.
Sponsorship of a tobacco company to organize and award any competitive events is prohibited according to the 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.
Message sender – Mohammad Wali Noman, Media Manager, Health sector, Dhaka Ahsania Mission