String puppetry by ARMT spreads awareness among masses on COVID-19 norms
At a time when many people are openly flouting the COVID-appropriate protocols even amidst the second wave of COVID-19, Guwahati-based Dr Anamika Ray Memorial Trust (ARMT) has adopted an innovative way to create awareness on COVID-appropriate behaviour among the public.
Joint move of ARMT & UNICEF (Assam) produces four short videos
GUWAHATI: At a time when many people are openly flouting the COVID-appropriate protocols even amidst the second wave of COVID-19, Guwahati-based Dr Anamika Ray Memorial Trust (ARMT) has adopted an innovative way to create awareness on COVID-appropriate behaviour among the public.
After the use of scientoon characters for COVID-19 general awareness, the ARMT has now come up with the idea of using string puppetry, popularly called as 'Putola Nach' in Assam. It is a traditional means of communication and another unconventional mode to reach people of all ages easily during the time of pandemic.
This collaborative initiative of the ARMT and the UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund) Assam has already produced four-string puppetry videos of four-to-eight minutes. Of these, three are on the storyline of creating general awareness on COVID-19, which is largely shared by ARMT's 'YouTube' channel recently.
These three videos are titled as 'COVID Shatru', 'COVID Bibhrat' and 'Mama Ro Mina Ko COVID Katha' (Mama aru Minar Covid Katha).
'COVID Shatru' is based on the story line of a King, who is worried at the devastation of his kingdom for the spread of COVID-19, later on preach his people to follow all the COVID protocols. 'Covid Bibhrat' is especially made for the students to consider the basic COVID-Appropriate Behaviours – washing hands regularly, wearing mask and maintaining physical distance as the 'New Normal' and other precautionary measures as prescribed in SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures)-2020 issued by the Central and State governments. This video is also supported by the 'Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan, Assam'. Both of these videos are in Assamese language.
While 'Mama Ro Mina Ko Covid Katha' which is made in the Nepali language especially for the Sikkim Government urging the masses to be aware of the contamination of Coronavirus in any form and prevent it by following the basic COVID norms.
Popular actress in Assamese cinema for comic roles, Chetana Das has rendered the voice in one of these videos.
Within an hour of circulation, the videos received a good number of views, likes and shares. One of these videos was also shared by Majuli Jansanyog in its Facebook page. ARMT has urges the viewers to 'like' and share the videos as much as possible from the official homepage of its YouTube channel. This will further help in passing on the messages among the public, it stated.
It is to be noted that these videos are part of the larger collaborative project of two-months (November and December, 2020) with UNICEF Assam titled as 'Risk communication and community engagement to promote 'COVID Appropriate Behaviour' (CAB) among children, women and urban population'.
"We have also prepared various other multimedia interactive documents creating general awareness on COVID-19 under this project which will also be shared on our social media platform shortly," said Dr Ankuran Dutta, the programme lead and managing trustee of ARMT.
Dutta added, "As of now, we are focussing on the larger circulation of the three puppetry videos which encapsulates the CABs in a simpler but in an entertaining and attractive manner for people of all ages. I am really grateful to the entire team as mentioned in the description part of the videos for its successful production".
Earlier, the Trust led an unprecedented movement during the first wave of COVID-19 through preparation of various multimedia interactive documents on COVID-19 general awareness in association with NCSTC, DST, Government of India.
'COVID Katha' is one of the most popular documents that has already reached millions of audiences. Besides this, the ARMT has also launched a month-long campaign against fake news on COVID-19.