Recently IIT Kharagpur took up this challenge to improvise an effective method of health communication to a large catchment of the rural population. Under the project “Folk Artists in the Time of Coronavirus” funded IIT Kharagpur, Prof. Anjali Gera Roy, from the Dept. of Humanities and Social Sciences, engaged with folk artists (Patua) from the Naya village in West Midnapore to hold COVID-19 awareness outreach initiative communicated through visual and musical art forms. The first performance was organized at the entry gate of the IIT Kharagpur campus. As the relief recipients queued outside the IIT gate, a Patuya group from Naya engaged them in an interactive session about COVID-19. They followed it with a performance of songs to pats or scrolls created by the Patuas on the theme. The painters drilled home warnings about not following lockdown rules and other instructions through their pictures and songs and exhorted the onlookers to fight together to defeat the virus.
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