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Creating public awareness on sanitation through cartoons

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The booklet brought out by the Information and Public Relations Department in Pathanamthitta, as part of a sanitation awareness campaign.
The booklet brought out by the Information and Public Relations Department in Pathanamthitta, as part of a sanitation awareness campaign.

Staff Reporter

PATHANAMTHITTA: A hit Malayalam song by playback singer Hariharan, Walking in the moonlight... I'm thinking of you... Listening to the raindrops... I'm thinking of you... Oh aegypti... . Oh... no... aegypti... Aedes aegypti.., was made into a parody for the sanitation awareness campaign, jointly launched by the Information and Public Relations Department and the Kerala Cartoon Akademi, in Pathanamthitta recently.

The 68-page cartoon booklet brought out as part of the campaign was a big hit on its launch. The booklet has interesting cartoons depicting the hazards of dumping waste prevalent especially in the rural areas of Kerala, besides the need to ensure a safe waste disposal mechanism in every panchayat to prevent arthropod-borne diseases such as chikungunya, leptospirosis and dengue fever.

The effort was to convey the message of a clean and hygienic environment that ensures a disease-free living condition to the public in a simple manner. "We chose to use cartoons as it being a popular medium with the potential to take the message to a wide range of society, from children to the elderly," said Saktikumara Varma, District Information Officer.

Assistant Information Officer K.G. Santhosh, layout artist Aju Mekkozhoor, and cartoonist Shaji Mathew were the team behind the cartoon awareness drive. The cartoonists who have contributed to the booklet are: Balachandran, chairman of the Kerala Cartoon Akademi, S. Jitesh, editor of Chiricheppu, Haku, Prasannan Anicaud, Joy Kulanada, Sukumar, E.P. Peter, Samji K. Oommen, Thomson, K.V.M Unni, Kripesh, Kollam Pappachan, Sreekuttan Ambalappuzha, Rakesh Anzera, Shaji Mathew, N. Suresh, Seeri, Emmanuel, Devaran, Prathapan, Surendran, Premjit Kayamkulam, Renjit Naduvil, Joshi George, Sudheernath, Abba Vazhoor, Sooryasanker, Dinraj, Babu Alappuzha, Basheer Kizhisserry and Rajeendra Kumar.

The booklet comprises 64 cartoons that convey the message of sanitation with interesting anecdotes to the public. Cartoons depicting people dumping waste in each other's courtyard, `soliloquies' of mosquitoes, flies `fleeing' the `wrath' of fogging machines, a man sending SOS messages seeking help for deliverance from the clutches of epidemic-spreading mosquitoesare bound to be an eye-opener to society.

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