Chennai man designs auto rickshaw depicting Covid-19 vaccines
A Chennai-based artist has modelled an auto rickshaw depicting Covid-19 vaccines in an attempt to spread awareness about the benefits of vaccination and to encourage people to take their shots. B. Gowtham, founder of the art firm - Art Kingdom - made the design out of waste pipes, old plastic bottles and other discarded materials such as plywood.
The auto rickshaw has been painted with a light blue colour from top to bottom and it features large replicas of syringes and vaccine vials sticking out from all sides. Large replica of a vaccine vial has been mounted on the top of the auto to represent the importance of Covid-19 vaccines. Another small vaccine vial replica sits on top of the headlight of the vehicle. One huge syringe replica has been fixed on the side of the auto.
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The artist has collaborated with the Greater Chennai Corporation for this initiative. "I first presented the design of the auto to the Corporation two months back and got a positive response. Implementing the design on the auto took around ten days," Gowtham told HT Auto.
The design was implemented on the vehicle provided by a local auto driver - Mani - who will be riding the "vaccine auto" to the 15 zones of the city to spread awareness among people. The campaign has got a positive response from the public of Chennai so far. "The auto can reach in nooks and corners where public doesn't have access to media information and are skeptical about getting a shot," Gowtham said. "People are noticing the colourful elements of the auto and efforts taken by government to encourage vaccination. This is driving awareness," he added.
Gowtham's team and volunteers are also distributing pamphlets to citizens explaining the importance of getting vaccinated. A sound system inside the "vaccine auto" addresses all queries related to vaccination as the auto drives into localities. He looks forward to creating more such autos if he finds organisations willing to collaborate with him, so as to reach more people.
Last year, in late March, when the country went into a state of Covid-induced lockdown for the first time, Gowtham had collaborated with Chennai police officials to create a unique 'Corona' helmet to dissuade commuters from coming out on the streets. He used a broken helmet and papers to create the special helmet. Chennai Police Inspector Rajesh Babu wore the gear while speaking to commuters on the street.
In April last year, people in Telangana also came out with innovative ideas to create awareness about the coronavirus pandemic. A car museum owner designing a whacky 'virus car' to create awareness among people to stay at homes.
Currently, India is focusing on vaccinating its maximum population as soon as possible in order to prevent further waves of coronavirus. As many people are still skeptical of getting a shot, such awareness campaigns are proving to be useful.