Published: 09th April 2020
This weekly comic strip by Jadavpur University students is the coolest Corona awareness campaign. Here's why
The stories talk about rumours of how cow urine can help cure Corona to the scarcity of medical equipment and problems the medical personnel are facing
Coronavirus might have spread faster than estimated in the past few days but what makes the situation worse are the rapidly spreading rumours and superstitions associated with the disease. The virus has claimed 5194 victims till date, 149 of them have died. But fake news, rumours and shortcuts to avoid the disease have spread all over the country. To fight these rumours, the Students' Federation of India's (SFI) Jadavpur University unit in Kolkata is publishing weekly comics to make people aware of the situation — the reality of it.
The stories take on everything from rumours of how cow urine can help cure Corona to the scarcity of medical equipment and problems the medical personnel are facing to the racism towards people from North East. And it's available in Bengali, Hindi and English. "I have taken inspiration from real-life incidents that have either happened to me or to a friend of mine. I write the story first after discussing with others involved in the project and then I write the final script. It takes me one night to write the entire script for the 8-page comic," said Subhadeep Bandopadhyay, a postgraduate student of Bengali at the varsity, who is penning down the script for the comics which is then translated by others. "We want to tell people why the rumours will hurt them, especially at this time of crisis. We explain the science behind the statements we make and also try to make it engaging so that the message is conveyed successfully," he added.
While Subhadeep writes down all the stories, the illustrator changes every time. Sayan Nandi, a first-year student of the same department has illustrated the entire comics. And he did not use fancy software or even a laptop. Sayan drew all the 17 pictures of the comics on his phone. "I am more comfortable on my phone. It is easier for me to draw on it. I used Autodesk. It took me three days to finish the comics in all three languages," said Sayan. The team working on the project are all at home and spread across the state and have been working per WhatsApp and calls.
The first edition, published in Bengali and Hindi, has been extensively shared on social media platforms. "More than Facebook, it has also been circulated on WhatsApp and people in my locality have asked me about it. This shows that it has reached people," said Subhadeep. While the millennials have shared the comics and are loving it. "Their parents are also reading it and have understood why it is dangerous to step out without protection," said Sayan.
Check out their latest comic here.