BENGALURU : Frantic calls from loved ones and patients, medical supply shortages, beds running out. As a frontline worker, Dr Vivek Anand Padegal got a first-hand view of the devastating impact of the pandemic’s second wave.
Though the director of the department of pulmonary medicine at Fortis Hospital, Bannerghatta Road, has been actively speaking up to spread awareness about COVID-19 safety measures, the new wave brought with it the realisation that, perhaps, a more novel method must be employed to help manage coronavirus. That’s when Padegal reached out to Nirvana Films.
Together, they’ve now come out with a fun rap video where the message rings loud and clear: #MukhaMuchkoliMatteVaccineChuckhkoli. "We wanted to create an awareness campaign that strikes a balance between entertainment and delivering a message. The video talks about masking, hand hygiene and vaccination," says Padegal, who also features in the video along with two other doctors. All three are also members of the Karnataka Pulmonologists Association, which has also endorsed this video.
The rap - delivered in Kannada - also uses wordplay on popular local parlance with its #MukhaMuchkoliMatteVaccineChuckhkoli tagline. "We're literally asking the person to shut their mouth with a mask," says Sneha Iype Varma, who is the executive producer and partner at Nirvana Films, adding that the project was self-funded.
The video features lyrics by Rajesh Ramaswamy, who also lent his voice for the song, along with Deepak Alexander (who was also the music director) and rapper Sumukh. It also features popular names like rapper Alok Babu or All Ok, Kannada actors Ashvithi and Adhvithi Shetty, and influencer Sonu Venugopal, to name a few.
"Adhvithi and I wanted to be a part of this because we knew once the lockdown would be lifted, people might take things lightly. But we wanted to send out the message that wearing a mask and using a sanitiser is important since corona hasn’t ended yet," says Ashvithi.
Working on this project proved to be a temporary escape for Padegal, who was insistent on having it in Kannada. "Those who are tech-savvy have received enough messaging. But we wanted to reach an extended audience," he says.
The idea was also to prevent a third wave, which is why the video was released just in time as the lockdown was slowly lifted. "After the second wave, I decided to take matters into my own hands. I’m desperate to prevent a third wave, not just for my patients, but for the sake of my own sanity. The only thing we want to make viral is this messaging," says Padegal.
To watch the video, visit the YouTube channel Nirvana Films Website.