Tamil Nadu

Activists unleash a ‘dragon’ to drive home message of safety

Enter the dragon: Children taking a selfie with the ‘dragon‘ at T.P. Chatram in Chennai on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: R_RAVINDRAN

After warnings from Greater Chennai Corporation officials and the Chennai police fell on deaf ears, it was the turn of a 15-ft Chinese ‘dragon’ to warn residents of slum tenements in T.P. Chatram to wear masks on Saturday afternoon.

The orange dragon, with bloody eyes, sharp horns and menacing teeth, carried by volunteers of the Goodwill NGO, charged at people not wearing masks, and seeing it advance towards them, people took cover. “It was an attempt to create awareness about the dangers of not wearing masks. Accompanied by music, the volunteers carried the dragon through the lanes of Naalu Aduku Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board (TNSCB), Jothi Ammal Nagar, Telugu Lane, T.P. Chatram and V.S. Puram,” said S. Kalairasan, area engineer, division 102, Zone 8.

Magnell Marshall from Goodwill NGO said volunteers went ahead, warning people to wear masks or face the wrath of the dragon. “It is part of our community intervention programme. We thought of using the dragon to symbolise COVID-19, as the virus is said to have come from China. So people will become aware,” he added. He said the dragon was made of old newspapers.

“The children were excited to see the dragon. They were asking their parents to rush inside and wear masks. For them, it was more of a game. However, we were able to drive home the point,” added Mr. Kalaiarasan.

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Printable version | Oct 27, 2020 3:16:28 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/activists-unleash-a-dragon-to-drive-home-message-of-safety/article32651032.ece

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