Indian police, who have a reputation for using brute force, is trying to paint a different picture during the current national lockdown to break the cycle of COVID-19. Besides their mandatory responsibilities, many among them have come out with ingenious ways to spread awareness about COVID-19. On Tuesday, pictures of a police officer in the state of Andhra Pradesh riding a horse with pictures of the coronavirus painted on its body went viral.
While people appreciated the police officer’s efforts of riding a horse under the hot sun just to make sure that people were reminded about the severity of the situation, some were upset about the animal being painted, including former federal minister from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, Maneka Gandhi, herself an animal welfare activist. Other netizens also pointed out that the officer named Maruti Sankar should have worn a mask before setting out preaching awareness about the infection to people.
Better if he would be wearing mask. Thats awareness.. this seems heroic.. 🙏— ManishChopra (@emanishchopra) March 31, 2020
Videos of police officers singing old Bollywood songs to spread awareness have also been surfacing on social media.
During the lockdown, there were also reports of policemen beating up violators, but such creative initiatives portray a different side of the force in khaki uniforms.
One viral video showed a team of masked officers offer the traditional Hindu “Aarti” to people who were out, strolling on the empty streets. “Aarti” is a Hindu religious ritual of worship, where an oil lamp is offered to one or more deities along with songs sung in praise of the deity.
One officer in Chennai also put on a specially designed #CoronavirusHelmet to inform lockdown violators about the importance of isolation and social distancing.
This Indian police inspector went the extra mile to inform the public about the dangers of Coronavirus.— Jenan Moussa (@jenanmoussa) March 29, 2020
He wore a helmet that looks like the virus to warn people to stay home.@AFP took these pictures in the Indian city of Chennai. pic.twitter.com/uQj8NxVwU6
There are currently 1,251 active cases in the country, with 32 deaths, according to the latest data released by the federal Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.