Telangana Police during an awareness drive
Amid the nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus and "flatten the curve", personnel from the police have come up with many out of the box ideas to educate people on the precautionary measures and how to keep themselves safe. From putting up a dance to demonstrate how to wash hands to fight coronavirus, wearing coronavirus-inspired helmets or donning the attire of Yamaraj the police forces in the country are showing their quirky side.
From various pop culture references to dancing and singing, they have done it all. They are not only out on streets to ensure that people do not violate the lockdown rules, but are also upping their game on social media with humorous posts.
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A look at some of the quirkiest steps taken up by the cops across India
Kerala hand wash dance
In an attempt to encourage the practice and highlight the importance of washing hands, a police station in Kerala came up with a hand-washing themed dance showing how people should wash their hands. The 1.04-second clip features six policemen wearing face masks while displaying ways to wash hands in order to get rid of the germs. The police has initiated a 'Break the Chain' campaign to inspire people to stay away from the infection.
As a part of the campaign, the police also released another video inspired by scenes from Mohanlal-starrer Lucifer. The song in the background is ‘Kadavule Pole’ from the hit film and in the film features Mohanlal challenging his opponents.
Dedicated to all health workers, doctors and law enforcement officers working to slow the spread of the infection, the video shows a man being empowered by a doctor and a cop to fight the infection. After sanitising his hands and wearing a mask, the man is empowered to take on the virus that he was fleeing from earlier.
Telangana's Rachkonda police also started dancing on a traffic signal to spread awareness among people.
Police wear coronavirus inspired helmet
A Chennai cop grabbed headlines when a video of him donning a ‘Corona Helmet’ and explaining the public about the severity of the virus went viral on social media last month. The helmet is covered in red spikes with bulbs on the end, just like the microscopic image of the coronavirus, which causes the infection. Dismayed by seeing people flouting rules, a Chennai-based artist designed the helmet. Gowtham, the brain behind the design, said he shared his idea of making the virus-inspired helmet to raise awareness about the virus and officials there agreed.
The video of a police official donning a ‘Corona Helmet’ and explaining the public about the severity of the novel coronavirus had gone viral across the social media. (Express Photo)
Chennai Police inspector S Rajeesh Babu, who was seen sporting the helmet, said he wanted to do something out-of-the-box to reach out to the common man. "It’s not common for police officials to do something like this, he has a sound knowledge about art and he wants to do something for the betterment of the society, he is the hero for my script," Gowatham said, talking about Rajeesh. A similar exercise was later taken up by the Hyderabad Police.
In Bengaluru, skits and songs to inspire people to stay indoors
The coronavirus helmet was also used by the Bengaluru Police in their skit to urge people to stay indoors. The video, which was tweeted from their official account, shows a police officer making an announcement before a biker arrives on the scene. A police officer wearing a helmet resembling the coronavirus sits pillion while another dressed similarly runs up and begins troubling the man riding the motorcycle. The rider is then made to wear a coronavirus-shaped helmet, which is meant to signify that he is travelling away with the virus.
In another video from Bengaluru, Tabarak Fathima, an Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) found a melodious way to urge people to stay home. While surveying residential areas, Fathima sang the song to lift up the spirits of people during the lockdown. After talking about the pandemic and telling them not to give in to panic buying, Fathima asks the people if they remember the song, ‘Hum Honge Kamyab‘ and she starts singing the song, and people join her. Adding a twist to the song, she sings “We shall stay at home, we shall sanitise and we shall wear face masks every day, we shall overcome one day. Hum Honge Kamyab ek din” and ask people also to follow the song.
Andhra Pradesh cop rides horse painted with coronavirus images
Andhra Police cop drew flak after he was spotted riding a horse painted with coronavirus images. Sub-inspector Maruthi Shanker said the idea was to reach out to people who don't have access to media. "People in the villages don’t have easy access to cellphones and television. Hence, the horse was used to visually represent the virus so that they know about it. Moreover, the horse is also a symbolic representation to explain the speed at which the virus can spread," he said.
Though the aim behind the initiative was to spread information, it was met with a mixed response online as many did not approve of the paint applied to the animal.
Kolkata cop dons singer’s hat to cheer locked down people
In yet another attempt to spread awareness about COVID-19 through music, a video of a Kolkata policeman singing a number from Satyajit Ray’s iconic movie “Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne” has gone viral. In a video shared by the Kolkata Police on Twitter, a cop from Rabindra Sarobar Police Station is seen singing “O re Halla Rajar sena”, with his colleagues joining him as background chorus.
Another cop was also caught singing the iconic "We shall overcome" song. The police and Kolkata Municipal Corporation have teamed up to spread awareness about coronavirus in the city with some street art. The street graffiti, with messages in English and Bangla, have been displayed on the roads in ward 101 in Patuli, asking residents to 'Stay Home, Stay Safe'
Six major road junctions in east Kolkata now have street art asking people to stay at home. (Express photo: Partha Paul)
Cops perform puja for people flouting lockdown while urging them to stay home
In Chhattisgarh, police has gone a step ahead, and are seen doing the aarti of violators to stop them from stepping out without any purpose. On TikTok videos show police personnel singing devotional songs, applying a tilak, showering them with flowers and circulating an aarti plate with a lamp around them! In one clip, police personnel are heard singing ‘Om Jai Jagdish’ after catching one person while in another the song ‘Aaiye, aapka intezaar tha’ is played in the background.
The videos originally shared on TikTok quickly spread on other social media platforms as well and left people in splits.
In Chhattisgarh's Raigadh, police wearing coronavirus-inspired costumes are seen marching on the streets, stopping anyone on the roads and telling them to go home, "if they want to save themselves and their families". "Mai hu Corona aur mai tumhaare saath tumhaare ghar tak jaaunga aur sabko bimaar karunga (I am Corona, I will come with you to your house and infect everyone," the cops can be seen telling.
One of the constables donning the corona-suit, Lakheshwar Purseth said, "We are acting as demons and talking like one too. We tell people that the virus will catch them if they step out, urging them to stay inside." Other than following lockdown, the constables also spread information about washing hands, maintaining social distancing and following the orders by the government. "While there is curiosity among the people when they see us, we haven't been subjected to any disrespect yet. We hope people know that we are just acting and are not actually corona-demons," Purseth said.
The costumes worn by the constables were created with pieces of cloth and bottle caps by the in-house tailors and wives of police personnel in Raigadh police line in two days