KOZHIKODE: Many may get easily bored during the current nationwide lockdown. But for Prasanth Kumar, an upper primary school teacher at South Kodiyathur in Kerala’s Kozhikode district, it is a chance to hone his creativity and extend support to the government’s Covid-19 preventive measures.Prasanth is investing his time in puppetry to spread awareness on coronavirus control during the lockdown.
On social media, he recently shared a recorded puppet show which deals with various government guidelines and directions to prevent the disease.“My introduction to puppetry happened in 2000 with the Centre for Cultural Resources and Training Department’s refresher course. This course provides training in the orientation course/ workshop on the role of puppetry in education. We use puppetry to introduce new concepts and lessons to students, making the classroom sessions more interactive. So, we had only syllabus-based scripts or scenes or characters,” said Prasanth, who is a teacher in Areekode Govt UP School.
When the 21-day lockdown began on March 25 midnight, this 50-year-old set up a studio and stage at home with the help of his wife and son and shared recorded puppet shows on March 30.“We can make this lockdown more creative and meaningful instead of just spending time watching TV or sleeping at home. First, I wrote the script with the theme of Covid-19 preventive measures released by the government. Later, I arranged the stage and characters. After shooting the puppet show, I edited the sound part along with my son and shared it on YouTube and Facebook,” said Prasanth, who is a state and national-level award winner for best teacher.
The 10-minute-long Malayalam puppet show has a Muslim family, villagers and a schoolmaster in major roles. The show conveys the message that one should not spread fake news.In the coming days, Prasanth is planning to include healthcare workers as characters in the puppet show.“I would like to continue this till the lockdown ends and wish to pay tribute to the healthcare workers in the field,” Prasanth said.