Kerala

Art that speaks of pain and need to be careful

T. Natesan used to make a living as a commercial artist for the past 33 years. However, nowadays, he uses the bold brush strokes to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

On May 3, 2021, Mr. Natesan, 53, suffered a huge personal loss when his 80-year-old mother Devaki lost her battle to COVID-19. For him, the tragedy is yet to sink in but it has made him work to raise awareness of the COVID-19 pandemic. Ever since the death of his mother, Mr. Natesan has been creating COVID-19-themed graffiti in different parts of Alappuzha cautioning people against the disease and urging them to maintain physical distancing, wear face masks even after vaccination, and use hand sanitiser to save lives.

“My aim is to create awareness of coronavirus through art,” Mr. Natesan says. He says a lot of people have still not taken the disease seriously and he wants to educate them on the importance of following precautionary measures and rules through art.

“My mother was taken to the Government Medical College Hospital, Alappuzha, with chest pain in the last week of April. She was later diagnosed with a renal disease. She contracted COVID-19 while undergoing treatment for the kidney problem. I could not even give her a proper funeral. The pain of it will remain with me for the rest of my life. A lot of lives can be saved by creating awareness,” says Mr. Natesan, a resident of Mannanchery.

He is painting images and writing messages on compound walls of houses by the roadside after seeking permission. “I am getting a good response from the public. As it is for a good cause, a lot of people are letting their walls be painted with graffiti. I even received a call from the Changanassery police to do awareness artwork on the wall of the police station,” the artist says.

Dr. Sairu Philip, Professor and Head Department of Community Medicine, Government Medical College Hospital, Alappuzha says creating awareness is important in the fight against COVID-19. “The bedrock to win this battle is by ensuring community participation. The awareness regarding the basics to break the chain should reach every individual,” Dr. Philip says.


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Printable version | Jul 28, 2021 5:14:30 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/art-that-speaks-of-pain-and-need-to-be-careful/article34822000.ece

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