TIRUCHY: With people continuing to come out of their houses without masks to buy essentials in the lockdown, Fort traffic inspector N Navukarasu has come with what could be an effective idea to create awareness on wearing masks. He offers them raw chilli and bitter gourd to eat. Navukarasu said it is a default reaction for them to hesitate to eat these vegetables. In the same manner, it should be a default reaction for them to wear masks every time they go outside.
District Collector S Sivarasu has authorised only one person per two-wheeler to purchase essentials. A gathering of more than two persons is prohibited in Tiruchy. However, many people come out of their houses without observing social distancing norms and not wearing a face mask. Police file a number of cases every day against those violating the lockdown rules and coming out unnecessarily. In addition, several vehicles have been seized.
From Monday night near Palpannai and Chathiram bus stand in Tiruchy, Navukarasu has been standing during his shift with chilli and bitter gourd. He has offered them to over 30 people who came out on the road without wearing face masks. For the few people who dare take a bite, he gives them sweet peanut candy (Kadalai Mittai). Navukarasu said, “People come out of their homes without a mask, not even covering their faces with a handkerchief, without realising the danger of coronavirus. People need more awareness. I give chilli and bitter gourd to those who do not wear face masks. As people know these vegetables are unpalatable in raw form, they should also know how dangerous coronavirus is and wear masks. Once they take a bite of chili or bitter gourd, I give them sweet peanut candy. Then, I show them short awareness videos on coronavirus on my mobile phone. People then realise their mistake.”
He added, “Even before the virus entered India, I was giving people sanitisers and soap to raise awareness on the need for hand washing. According to the instructions of the Tiruchy Police Commissioner, we are raising awareness in novel ways.”