KOLKATA: Pegged to the ongoing football World Cup fever that has engulfed the city residents' thought process, concerns and discussions, Kolkata Police took the opportunity to launch a World Cup meme campaign on issues such as drink 'n drive, drug addiction and following traffic rules.
The meme campaign has received a huge response from the common public with the memes being shared by a large number of people on social media. However, whether the campaign has led to any practical change is yet to be assessed. Launched through its pages on Twitter and Facebook, the Kolkata Police has used innovative memes urging people to slow down and maintain speed as they are not Lionel Messi, called drug addiction as 'own goal' and used the word 'Neymar' as a Bengali pun 'Shabdhaner Nei maar' (there is no fault in precaution) urging people to wear helmets and seat belts and follow traffic signals.
The meme campaign even took much-awaited matches involving Kolkata's favourite team Brazil urging people to slow down so that they get to watch the match and not end up in a mortuary or on a hospital bed.
"The meme campaign was launched after brainstorming by top officials knowing that it would click with the football-crazy people of the city. It has been immensely popular in the social media. We hope that people would take practical lessons from the campaign and get the messages," a top Kolkata traffic police official said.
The city residents have appreciated the campaign and hoped that people will read the real messages of the memes and get the intended pun.
"It is a very intelligent and innovative campaign of the Kolkata Police. With widespread mobile accessibility, the memes were seen and shared by a large share of the city residents. I hope people really get the pun of the memes at what they are meant for and not dismiss them after having a good laugh," Jadavpur University student Arijit Hansda said.