- The young boy will accompany police on COVID awareness drives in McLeodganj
- SHO, Police Station McLeodganj said awareness rounds will begin from Friday
- People tend to listen to young voices more: Vipan Choudhury, SHO
New Delhi: Earlier on Tuesday (July 6), a video of a 5-year-old boy from Dharamshala, questioning people for not wearing a face mask in a market area, went viral on social media. The COVID warrior has now been made the local police’s mascot. The young boy, who lives on the streets with his family, will accompany the police officials during their regular awareness and education drives starting this Friday (July 9), informed Vipan Choudhury, SHO, Police Station McLeodganj. Further talking to NDTV about making the young COVID warrior a part of their team, Mr Choudhury said,
Yesterday, we went to the market area to trace the boy named Amit. At first, he was afraid to see the police and got scared with everyone – police, locals, and media – looking for him. But then, we talked to him, encouraged him and got him on board. We want to lend his services as a symbol for our zero COVID mission. People tend to listen to a young voice more than police officials repeating the same things – wear a face mask, and keep distance.
Mr Choudhury informed that McLeodganj, a tourist place, witnesses a large footfall over the weekend which is why they will take rounds starting Friday and whenever the boy is available and ready, he can tag along and help them spread the message.
Amit’s parents sell balloons for a living and yesterday, they were out to purchase stock of balloons so we couldn’t meet them. We will seek their permission before taking Amit, one of the four children, with us, said Mr Choudhury.
Amit’s video was shared on Instagram by a page named Dharamshala Local. In the video, Amit is seen with a cloth mask on his face and a long bright yellow stick in one hand. The child pokes at the adults meandering carelessly in the bustling market area without a face mask. The young boy is seen stopping people and asking one simple question, ‘tumhara mask kaha hai?’ (where is your mask?) However, his pleas are ignored as adults simply smile at him and walk away.
Sharing the video on social media, the admin of the local page had questioned the careless behaviour of the educated people and wrote,
This little kid was seen on the streets of Dharmshala, asking people to wear mask. He doesn’t even have shoes to wear. See the smirking faces of these people. Who is educated and who is uneducated here?
Watch The Viral Video
Talking to NDTV, Anand Karki, co-founder of the Instagram page Dharamshala Local said,
The video was shot by Kailash Dubhal but shared on our page because of the mass reach. Ever since the video of barefoot Amit asking people to wear a mask has gone viral, a lot of people have come forward and are willing to support his education and daily needs. So far, people have donated clothes and shoes for him and his brothers. Amit dreams of becoming a police officer and with all the love and support that people have shown towards him, we will try to get all the possible help for him. We will be meeting his parents by tomorrow for their education and living.
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene.