JAIPUR: With India under a nationwide lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, popular mythological serials of the 1980s - Ramayana and Mahabharat - are being telecast on DD National to entertain people who are stuck at home in this tough period. The police in Rajasthan’s Churu district has also adopted a similar approach and started an initiative to keep people motivated and at home during the lockdown by connecting them with motivational speakers, sports stars, theatre artistes and film celebrities via social media.
To keep people inside their homes, the Churu Police is holding live sessions of TV actors, motivational speakers and theatre personalities between 5 pm to 7 pm – and this novel effort is proving to be quite a success. This unique initiative is the brainchild of Churu SP Tejaswini Gautam who says that thousands of people are getting involved with this police effort and instead of venturing out have started logging on to the Facebook page of the Churu police.
SP Tejaswini says, ''I thought that for better policing, we need a special effort to ensure that people step out of their homes as little as possible. After staying at home the whole day and facing lots of problems, people have an urge to move out of the home around 5-6 pm and many even used to phone me and say they felt depressed. So we thought to generate some positivity and to help them make constructive use of their time and whats better than connecting them with the celebrities. I think people now have a good connect and interact with celebrities very well.''
Tejaswini says earlier police had to tell at least 100 to 150 people daily not to step outside their homes. Instead, over two thousand people now ask questions daily to our celebrities on FB. People are now more active on social media rather than breaking lockdown rules and that was the main aim of our initiative.
"We began the first session on April 20th and at that time I thought it will be great if we could get 1000-2000 likes since Churu is hardly a tier-one city. But contrary to our expectations, we are getting a very positive response. We have a reach of 35000 to 50000 viewers per live session and we are getting lots of good mails and comments not just pan India but abroad also who are calling and appreciating our effort. Also, there is a sizeable decline in the population roaming outside homes unnecessarily."
During their interactions with Churu residents during the Facebook live sessions, the celebrities give tips for combating corona and ask them to keep their motivation high despite all odds. These enriching sessions include tips for staying physically fit and increase reading.
The celebrities who have already participated in this initiative include two-time Para Olympic Gold Medalist Devendra Jhajhadia, noted theatre director Atul Satya Kaushik, Management Guru N Raghuraman, Yoga and Spiritual expert Dr K.K.Pathak, TV celeb and Mahabharat fame actor Punit Issar, Ruhani sisters Neeta Pandey and Jagrati Luthra.
Significantly, SP Tejaswini Gautam has herself been associated with theatre, writing and direction for many years in her home city of Delhi and in Jaipur and Ajmer where she was posted earlier. She is using several of her old friends to come in as speakers and to reach out to more celebrities. The IPS Association has greatly appreciated this novel initiative. Many collectors and SPs from other states are now asking SP Tejaswini to help them launch similar efforts.
While the lockdown may or may not continue beyond May 3, the Churu Police is planning to carry on with this unique initiative for a much longer period. The Churu Police is in touch are Bollywood actresses, celebrities and real-life heroes for the programme. Singers Anamika and Ashok Masti have already confirmed to be part of this initiative. The SP plans to contact with the film celebrities, artists, poets, singers from Rajasthan who have attained national and international fame so that people get an opportunity to interact with these acclaimed sons and daughters of the soil.