A group of Jadavpur University students is warning young pandal-hoppers against dropping their Covid guard.
Along with a tableau, the students toured several parts of south and central Kolkata on Monday evening.
At the intersection of Raja Subodh Chandra Mallick Road and Prince Anwar Shah Road, in front of Jadavpur police station, they spotted some college students heading to a pandal in Jodhpur Park without wearing masks.
Those without masks on their face held the protective gear in their hands.
The volunteers handed the young pandal-hoppers a fresh set of masks and told them to put on the face coverings because the pandemic is still raging.
“Even as many of you are taking part in revelry, you must remember that many fellow citizens are staying away from the festive occasion because they have lost their near and dear ones to Covid. So please don’t drop your guard and please help us continue the fight against Covid,” said a JU student while distributing the masks.
“Its hot and humid. It’s difficult to wear masks for long,” said a woman.
Another JU student urged another section of the crowd to maintain physical distancing as much as possible.
Community Radio JU 90.8 MHz, supported by Unicef as part of its project “Social and Behavioural Change Communication”, launched the campaign to spread the message of Covid awareness with a tableau, accompanied by Chhau dancers from Purulia.
Iman Kalyan Lahiri, a teacher of the university who is overseeing the campaign said, they decided to take out the tableau in the evening so they could reach out to as many people as possible.
“We want to drill this into the minds of those who are out on the streets that they cannot afford to drop the vigil. Since Chhau is a popular form of art, we engaged this tool. A jingle sung by Lagnajita Chakraborty is also being played to spread awareness,” said Lahiri, coordinator of JU Radio.
The Chhau dancers dressed in khaki uniform with traditional masks wrapped around their faces swaying sticks in their hands, delivered their performance on the makeshift podium atop the moving tableau.
“The sticks suggested that the law enforcers will catch up with those defying the norms. We are trying to drive the point in as many ways as possible,” said Lahiri.
The tableau started from gate number 4 of the university and covered a 10km distance between Jadavpur and Esplanade.
“We picked up the stretch that saw the highest surge of people with the idea of conveying the message to the maximum number of revellers,” said JU finance officer Gourkrishna Pattnayak, who flagged off the campaign.