Coimbatore

Divine intervention to promote disease prevention

An awareness film depicting Goddess Mariamman distributing masks was filmed in four villages in Coimbatore district.

An awareness film depicting Goddess Mariamman distributing masks was filmed in four villages in Coimbatore district.   | Photo Credit: HANDOUT_E_MAIL

Last month, over 300 people at Kammalapatti, Arthanaripalayam, and Kullegoundanur villages near Pollachi received masks, sanitisers, and awareness pamphlets on precautions to be taken to prevent COVID-19. Talking to them and creating the awareness was Mariamman, the protecting Goddess.

In an effort to spread information on the measures to prevent the disease among the public in rural areas, a small team conducted a campaign in the these villages for four days. Sangeetha, a theatre artist from Coimbatore, dressed as Mariamman, the deity, met the residents of the villages and distributed nearly 400 masks and 100 sanitisers.

Rathish Subramaniam, creative director from Bengaluru, conceptualised the campaign and Shiva of Tellywise ,Chennai, produced the awareness video. The initiative is supported and promoted by Dheepam Lamp Oil of Kaleesuwari Refinery.

Explaining the activity, Mr. Subramaniam said it was taken up during the lockdown period after getting the required approvals.

The Goddess urges the people to maintain physical distance, use masks, and hand sanitisers.

She also draws a parallel to the traditional practices followed such as using turmeric mixed water for bathing and eating only home cooked food during special prayers. So, the public will understand easily that the precautions to be taken for COVID-19 are not something new to them, he says. The initiative received encouraging response.

The four-day on-ground activity was filmed and put together as a two-minute video and was uploaded online on July 7 to educate more people. There are plans to screen the video among industrial workers in this region.

For Kaleesuwari Refinery, which makes Dheepam Lamp Oil, the video and the activity reiterates the message that some of the precautionary steps are already being practised.

The objective is to create awareness among rural audience as most of the awareness efforts are targeted only at people in urban areas.

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Printable version | Aug 11, 2020 10:01:18 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/divine-intervention-to-promote-disease-prevention/article32036573.ece

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