Bidi accounts for 64% of total tobacco consumption in India and the economic burden of diseases caused by its consumption is estimated at Rs 66,880 crore. Bidi smoking causes cancer and other non-communicable diseases (NCDs) which claim 60% of all deaths reported in the country. Loss of productivity due to bidi-related illness works out to Rs 4,761 crore.
But that is only one aspect of it. The other is high healthcare cost driving millions of poor into debt and destitution. But policymakers have been soft towards bidi because it is considered a poor man’s indulgence and source of livelihood. The report argues that such an approach is counterproductive and anti-poor. For further details please view our report…
There are many positive ways for business to make a difference in the lives of the poor - not through philanthropy but though initiatives that, over time, will help build new markets.
Kofi Annan: World Economic Forum