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Agnisakshiyay: A Telefilm with a Difference

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Agnisakshiyay, the telefilm is an important initiative that conveys a host of sentiments with a signature message regarding smoking that 'Tobacco is poisonous, keep off the item, do not be a slave to it.' The Malabar Branch of Indian Dental Association (IDA)has produced Agnisakshiyay with subtle hints of the ill-effects and trauma brought about by tobacco addiction.

A campaign to highlight the evils of tobacco would take much time to set a lasting impression in the minds of people, whereas cinema and telefilms, as mass media, are more successful in making an impact on people, educating them of the evils of tobacco.

The 45-minute film, directed by P.K. Baburaaj, weaves the story round a village bonded by strong human relationships between its residents, especially among the lower strata of society such as the rag-picker Manian's family and Syed Alavi. Majority of the characters, including the protagonist Dasan Madathil, are addicted to smoking and 'pan masala'. The central character of the harmonium-player, who dies of oral cancer, provides touching scenes to emphasize the nature of awareness campaign to the audience.

The cast include K.B. Ganesh Kumar, Binu Purushothaman, Dr. Shaju and Abhiraj. Dr. Binu Purushothaman has penned the story, screenplay and dialogues; musical score is by Kanesh Punoor.

The latest research by the World Health Organization (WHO) shows that by 2030, 10 million people would have died of smoking-related illnesses every year, making it the single biggest cause of death worldwide. 21st century's death rate from smoking will be ten times the 20th century's rate, WHO forecasts.

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