BENGALURU: "ADAAB, the whole world is gripped by coronavirus and most important in the fight against it is correct news and information," Manal Shakeel, doing her PhD in Biology, tells her Urdu audience on YouTube. She is among the 15 researchers from National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS), Bengaluru, who are reaching out to the vernacular audience with information on the spread of Covid-19, while trying to dispel myths around it.
The team goes with the belief, that “as scientists, it is a part of our responsibility to communicate science.” Taking a leaf out of the initiative of one of their peers, Aditya Asopa who started making videos in Marwari about COVID-19 in order to spread awareness in regional languages, students proactively began contributing and came up with a YouTube channel ‘Matrabhasha Vigyani’ which went live on May 3
These researchers have thus far made videos in Assamese, Bangla, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Marathi, Marwari, Nepali, Punjabi, Tamil and Urdu. The plan is to reach deep into the country’s towns and villages, using a visual medium, and reach out to people ascredible sources -- scientists. Manal told TNIE that they are trying to cater to people for whom native language might be the primary source of information.
“We will talk about why the virus has such a blowout that the whole world is in its grip, cover the basics of what this virus does and how it affects the body. A crucial part is busting myths, since we have so many of them floating around,” said Manal. “In the grand scheme, this may become a source for popularising and communicating science,” said Aditya, another researcher.