March 23, 2020- With coronavirus cases reaching alarming levels globally, including India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has addressed the nation, advising all to work from home and participating in a ‘Janta Curfew’. One of the most important things that the Prime Minister emphasised on was expressing gratitude towards those who are carrying out essential services – say doctors and policemen. While the nation stands with Mr Modi in hailing the heroes, we should also use this opportunity to laud the unsung heroes in this time of crisis.
Lest we forget, mask makers have emerged as saviours of mankind in the wake of the coronavirus or Covid-19 scare. Recently, several videos of people making ‘Made in India’ masks have gone viral on short video platforms such as VMate. Surfing through the trending page of this short video platform, we can see videos of tailors stitching masks in bulk at cloth factories and even at small workshops. There are also a few videos wherein creators are providing information on how a simple piece of cloth or handkerchief can be used to make a mask.
According to media reports, the sale of masks and sanitizers have surged by around 400% in India, leading to disparity between the demand and the supply. But the silver lining here are small-time mask makers, who are putting in extra efforts through days and nights to ease the crisis.
Apart from the mask makers, on VMate you can also see how people are spreading awareness about coronavirus and suggesting ways to prevent the menace by filming humorous and easy-to-understand videos. A short video creator Prity has used a parody of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s evergreen ‘Mere Rashke Qamar’ to communicate the dos and don’ts. Here’s the lyrics of the parody – “sanitizer lagao ab tum haath mein, mask pehno hamesha tum mooh naak mein…Corona hai zeher, ban ke chhaya qahar”, which roughly translates to ‘use sanitizers on hand and masks on your face’. Similarly, Komal Gugnani from Panipat is spreading the message of cleanliness using a popular handwash commercial jingle.
Another trending video on the platform is that of a kid playing the virus, who is constantly making attempt to infect two other kids. But they resort to Namaste instead of handshake, and wash hands with soap before having meal, thereby killing the virus. The theme song used too is quite symbolic – Duur by Pakistan-based music band Strings.
The global pandemic has tied the hands of government authorities and medical professionals alike. And in the given circumstances, any information on wellbeing, packaged in an entertaining format, is more than welcome. The world of short video platforms, including VMate, which is touted as ‘Rural India’s TikTok’, has certainly evolved as a respite, providing solace and comfort in the most troubling time.