Published: 28th July 2020
This Chennai NGO has created a 640 sqft cloth mask banner outside Ripon Building to spread COVID-19 awareness
The huge close mask banner will be displayed until July 30, following which it will be shifted to a more suitable place where it will be less susceptible to wear and tear
Taking the creative route to spread awareness about the Coronavirus pandemic and the importance of masks, an NGO in Chennai called the Indian Community Welfare Organisation (ICWO) along with the Greater Chennai Corporation has displayed a huge cloth mask banner outside the Ripon Building on Raja Muthaiah Salai recently. The banner is set to remain there until 4 pm on July 30.
The banner is 32 feet wide and 20 feet high and it took over 10 days to create it, says AJ Hariharan, ICWO's Secretary. "We got it made with the help of three tailors — one master tailor and two of his assistants. With this, we want to emphasise on the importance of wearing masks to curb the spread of the Coronavirus. It's been made with two layers of cloth and on top of it we have stitched a red colour one in the shape of a mask and it can be seen from a significant distance," he adds. The GCC helped the organisation to display it on their campus. It has been decided that the banner will only stay for a few days in the same location as it's made of cloth and is thus susceptible to wear and tear due to the rains or weather changes. "Currently, we have taken enough precaution to make it strong enough but more than a week it would be risky to keep it there. We need to find a safe place to display it," the secretary adds.
This is not the first time that ICWO has come up with something innovative and interesting for COVID-19 awareness. Earlier this month, along with the local administration, they had also created a Chennai Gaana song about the virus. Gaana is a traditional form of Tamil music which originated in Chennai. They created an awareness campaign about the spread of the COVID-19 virus, using the Chennai Gaana song. The campaign started from Chennai Mogappair West, where corporation officials, healthcare workers and the Chennai Police participated in the event. During the performances, activists wore Batman and Superman costumes to specifically create awareness among children in the city and distributed pamphlets giving details such as the importance of wearing a face mask, the need to maintain social distance, among other things. "This was a three-day campaign and we have already completed it. The campaign was quite a success among the public," adds Hariharan.
These awareness campaigns are also a part of the Swachh Bharat Mission, which is not about constructing toilets but aims at a behavioural change of the masses to adopt better sanitation practices. Similarly, for the COVID-19 virus and its awareness the information, education and communication (IEC) strategies, planning and their effective implementation is the key to the success of the mission. There are also several other NGOs who are doing their bit in Chennai to create awareness around the deadly virus.