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Coronavirus Helmet Changes Police Image in Chennai

The coronavirus helmet design is of a shell of thick spikes that latch onto human cell receptors

Saturday April 11, 2020 8:03 PM, Syed Ali Mujtaba, ummid.com

Coronavirus Helmet

[The coronavirus helmet design is of a shell of thick spikes that latch onto human cell receptors. (Photo: AFP/Arun Sanka)]

Chennai: The Chennai police have come up with the novel idea and they are wearing coronavirus helmet and patrolling the streets asking the aimlessly roaming commuters to get back home and stay indoors as they come out corona will come in.

The credit to create this coronavirus helmet goes to B Gowtham, 27 year old Chennai-based engineer-turned-artist and founder of an art organisation called Art Kingdom.

Gowtham’s coronavirus helmet is currently going viral across the country and he is praised for using some unusual and creative methods to get Indians to stop stepping out from their houses to slow down the escalating coronavirus outbreak in the country.

The immensely popular coronavirus helmet is worn by the police in Chennai while stopping unsuspecting vehicles and pedestrians roaming on the streets.

The coronavirus helmet design is of a shell of thick spikes that latch onto human cell receptors and is a symbolic message that the person wearing it is actually the coronavirus.

The coronavirus helmet is recycled from old newspapers and broken helmet, with red angry spikes jutting out that mimics the structure of the coronavirus.

Despite the lockdown situation many commuters on bikes are seen roaming on the street, some not even wearing masks. The policeman wearing the helmet does a great job of warning the people ‘If you come out, I will come in’ as they feel the fear of the corona virus. They run away seeing the police man wearing coronavirus helmet.

At a time when news of police brutality has hone viral across the country the coronavirus helmet acts as symbol to change the narrative against the police force.

The coronavirus helmet tries to upload the impression that the police is playing a major role in sensitizing people about the dangers of corona virus and are not demons.

In a bit to help out the city police in spreading awareness about coronavirus Gowtham says if there is more demand from other places and even interest in funding the same, he will be happy to supply more such helmets.

Interestingly, the coronavirus helmet is the second artwork of Gowtham. The first being the placard with message “If you come out, I will come in,” that he placed at police barricades on the streets of Chennai.

Gowtham is planning to do something similar about the benefits of social distancing as he wants other creative forms like art and music to connect with people and sensitizing them about the pandemic.

At a time when the lockdown is getting extend and the Corona curve is getting critical in the country, such experimentation is essential to build the morale of those who are in the forefront of the fight against the corona virus and also of those who are living in fear of the pandemic.

[Syed Ali Mujtaba is a journalist based in Chennai. He can be contacted at syedalimujtaba2007@gmail.com.]

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