A creative approach taken by an Indian police officer to increase public awareness around the novel coronavirus pandemic.
+ Coronavirus helmet worn by an Indian police officer
As of 4th April 2020 the number of positive cases of Covid-19 have risen to 3,082 in India and 1,120,752 globally according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Governments from different countries have imposed lockdowns to enforce physical distancing that in time would hopefully help flatten the curve.
On March 25th, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a nationwide lockdown in India, home to approximately 1.3 billion people. Despite the lockdown, many have taken to the streets and 27-year-old Chennai based artist, B Gowtham turned to art to help raise social awareness about coronavirus.
+ B Gowtham with his coronavirus awareness artwork
He made a coronavirus helmet that has been worn by Rajesh Babu, a police inspector in Chennai. Babu wears it and confronts people who’ve violated the lockdown or aren’t wearing masks and educates them about the global pandemic that the world is grappling to contain.
The helmet resembles the microscopic image of the coronavirus; it’s covered with red spikes and bulbs on the tips. “It’s made from unused waste materials, my brothers broken helmet was lying around for 2 years. The Corona mace is made with a volleyball and an old reaper that I found in the police station.” says Gowtham.
“I’ve been following the news for the last two months and I wanted to do something that would make a difference.” he says. Day two of the lockdown, Gowtham, founder of the Chennai-based organisation went to the nearest police station and shared his ideas about helping the authorities increase public awareness. “Rajesh Babu was very open to my ideas and my first creative was an informative placard about Covid-19.” He says, “ On the 4th day I gave him the helmet and we took to the streets and started raising awareness. It’s amazing to see how art can make a difference.”
+ Coronavirus helmet worn by the police officer
+ Coronavirus artwork by B Gowtham
Last modified: April 4, 2020