Maharashtra and Goa Use Performing Arts, Folk Media to Spread Awareness about COVID-19 Vaccination

Industry Watch | March 26, 2021 | News

Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Government of Maharashtra WHO UNICEF

To address and spread awareness about the mixed challenge of COVID-19 vaccination, the Central and State governments are using innovative approaches to scale up advocacy among communities.

Maharashtra and Goa Governments have chosen to take the creative route to ensure that key messages are shared using popular art forms to find resonance among local communities. Cultural troupes have been deployed to perform street plays in local languages to get advocacy messages at 11,400 strategic locations across 36 districts of Maharashtra and two in Goa.

The collaborative campaign has deployed 89 performing troupes and 16 vans - 15 in Maharashtra and 1 in Goa - equipped with LED panels and audio announcement systems for the dissemination of COVID-19 information in regional languages and local dialects.

The script reiterates updated information about the disease, COVID-19 appropriate behaviour, and vaccination to address concerns.

Rajesh Arjun Dive, Office of District Collector, Thane said, “After the lockdown was lifted, I became careless about frequent hand-washing and social-distancing. Watching the play reminded me how important it is to follow these practices in my daily routine. My family members and I are eager to get vaccinated whenever the COVID-19 shot is available for the general population.”

This collaborative advocacy campaign is being run by the Regional Outreach Bureau (Maharashtra and Goa Region) under Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India, in partnership with the Public Health Department of Government of Maharashtra, WHO Country Office for India, and UNICEF.

The WHO-National Public Health Surveillance Programme (NPSP) is reviewing the technical contents of script and supporting capacity building of cultural troops with relevant and updated information on the disease and the available vaccines. The NPSP team is also assisting in the identification of key strategic places to halt vans for performances and LED display to maximise campaign impact and reach.

WHO is also supporting the Government in impact assessment of the activities in selected districts to document the effort and help build replicable models for other health advocacy campaigns.

The collaborative advocacy campaign is being run by the Regional Outreach Bureau under Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, in partnership with Govt of Maharashtra, WHO and UNICEF.

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