Sunita Tomar, poster girl of India’s anti-tobacco campaign passed away at her hometown in Bhind district of Madhya Pradesh. She was 28 and was diagnosed with oral cancer.
She had appeared in government’s 30-second video titled ‘Sunita’ which had highlighted the devastating effect of smokeless tobacco. The video had shown her personal testimony before and after an operation to remove the cancerous growth and a part of her mouth.
For this video Sunita had teamed with Voice of Tobacco Victims (VoTV) in order to create awareness about the tobacco-cancer.
It is estimated that tobacco causes 40% of the cancer in India. Around 10 lakh new cancer cases are reported every year. In fact, India has the highest incidence of oral cancer in the world, prompting its link to the habit of chewing tobacco among Indians. While, 60% of oral cancer patients in India die within a year or two of their diagnosis because of their late treatment.