CHENNAI: World-renowned sand sculptor Sudarsan Pattnaik amazed visitors to the Marina Beach on Monday with his sand art as part of a dengue awareness campaign sponsored by Godrej Consumer Products Limited (GCPL).
Pattnaik and three of his students toiled for five hours on the beach sand to create the shape of a woman bitten by the dengue-causing Aedes aegypti mosquito, decked in the background by sand-sculpted hutments. Later, speaking to City Express, Pattnaik, who has won recognition around the world for his unrivalled skill, said that sculpting on the Marina was a fun experience and that Chennai’s beaches were one of his preferred destinations.
“The sculptor should have a fair idea about the type of sand and the quantity of water required. But, above all, possessing the creative on how best to convey an idea is the toughest part of the activity,” said Pattnaik.
Pattnaik was brought on board by GPCL, who are promoting the awareness campaign essentially as a marketing venture for their HIT brand of insect repellants. Speaking to City Express, Pradeep Kumar, assistant vice president (Sales) – GPCL, said that dengue cases had been on the rise across the nation in the recent weeks.
“About 3,000 dengue cases have been reported in India in the past few weeks. So, there is an urgent need to spread awareness about the need to protect oneself from the deadly disease that is dengue,” said Kumar.
“We plan to take this campaign to 30 cities across the country. Chennai was our second destination. The event kicked off from Puri in Odisha. The next stop is at the famous Juhu Beach in Mumbai,” he added. The event was also marked by a mini awareness rally by groups of school students.
Mayor Saidai Duraisamy, who was slated to take part, did not arrive. Interestingly, the Chennai Corporation recently released figures that suggested a drop in number of dengue cases recorded in the city.
The civic body has reported only 50 cases till September 2014.
Comparatively, there were 68 instances of dengue recorded in 2013 while the same was 403 in 2012.