| Students of Bosco Institute paste a poster on a rickshaw at Bongal Pukhuri in Jorhat on Tuesday. Telegraph picture |
Jorhat, Feb. 5: Bribery, favouritism, job cards, Right to Information, violence against women, reasons for demoralisation, suicide, becoming a terrorist or regretting being so — the issues are many but social awareness scant.
In a bid to spread awareness without preaching, students of the department of social work of Bosco Institute at Bagchung here have hit the campaign trail through the interesting media of comics and cartoons drawn on posters and put up in public places.
A series of such posters were put up at the Bongal Pukhuri area yesterday and a few pasted on the back of rickshaws. In the days to come, more such posters would be put up at vantage points like barbershops, near tea stalls or paan shops.
The initiative has been taken up by an NGO, World Comics Network. “The best way to spread any message is through the visual medium. The cheapest way to do it is through hand-drawn posters which can also be photocopied,” Sharad Sharma, the NGO’s representative from New Delhi, said.
Last year, in order to get the message across to a larger audience, the dialogues spoken by the comic characters were translated into Assamese.
Sharma said these posters were made through a four-step process. “The first step was putting the ideas into a sketch or comic form, the second was a reader going through the catchy dialogues and going over the comics, the third was discussing the posters with others and the fourth step was provoking a thought process in readers.”
“It could be said there is a fifth frame of how one reacts once they see and read the posters. This leads to the subsequent process of whether one desires a change or just lets things be,” he said.
Sharma started teaching students from 2009 and he has trained 36 students so far. “In the beginning, the students were diffident about sketching what they had in their mind. Slowly, they took to it and have done some commendable displays on a number of topics like corruption, politicians buying votes, educational schemes, drug abuse and more. Now they are conducting workshops in which people from housewives to youth activists, take part,” Sharma said.
He said World Vision, a social organisation, had even invited the students to train people in the villages.