On January 20, 2020, India reported its first corona case in Kerala’s Thrissur district. Since then, the government has been raising awareness and asking citizens to maintain social distance and keep themselves safe through sanitisation, by wearing face masks and washing their hands as much as possible. The government also started several campaigns for the same through televisions, newspapers, other social media sites and, not to forget, a mobile ringtone on Corona awareness. But still, to some people, it is very hard to follow these safety and important measures. Moreover, if one asks them to follow these measures, they turn violent.
“A woman employee of AP Tourism Hotel in Dargamitta of Nellore city was attacked by the deputy manager of the hotel when she advised him to wear a mask. Though the incident happened last Saturday, it came to light on Tuesday, when the CCTV footage of the incident went viral.” as reported by The Indian Express on June 30.
In CCTV footage, it is visible how the deputy manager C Bhaskar rushes to the chamber, where employee Chechuri Usharani was sitting, dragged her from the chair, and started beating her on head, neck and back. The irony of this incident, which is evident from the footage, is that none of the victim’s colleagues came forward and helped her. Only one person was seen stopping the deputy manager.
This is not the only incident of such violence but there are many more. Another such incident as reported by The Hindu on May 5, 2020, states “The accused were seen roaming around the locality without wearing face masks, which has been made compulsory in light of the COVID-19 crisis. The brothers asked the duo to wear masks or go back home, which led to an argument. The accused seem to have tried to exact revenge for this with the help of their friends.” According to the Tilak Nagar police, the incident occurred around 8.15 pm in Nagewadi on PL Lokhande Road. Kirti Singh Rana (34) and his brother Indersingh (33) were walking towards their residence when they were allegedly accosted by five men near the public toilet in their locality.
“A 22-year-old man has been arrested by Upnagar police for allegedly assaulting an on-duty policeman after he was questioned for flouting the lockdown norm and not wearing a face mask,” as reported by the Times of India on April 20, 2020.
For five months, every advertisement on television and radio, even social media applications such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc are advertising to maintain social distance, wear masks and wash hands frequently. Even the Prime Minister of the country, in his speeches, while addressing the nation on the issue of COVID19, asks and requests its citizens to wear masks.
Not only this, states such as Maharashtra, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Chandigarh, Odisha, etc have made it compulsory to wear masks. If one goes out in public places in Uttarakhand without a mask then it can land you in jail for 6 months and cost you a fine of Rs 5,000. Ahmedabad too had imposed a fine of Rs 5,000 for the same, while in Uttar Pradesh the fine is up to Rs 500. Delhi ruled that not wearing a mask will incur a fine of up to Rs 1,000. Chhattisgarh too imposed a fine of Rs 100 for not wearing a mask. Petrol pumps across Odisha in April came out with a stringent rule – no mask, no fuel – to strictly enforce the government’s order making the wearing of face masks mandatory while going out.
With so many strict rules, regulations and continued awareness, some people are still not able to understand the gravity of the pandemic, Covid-19. They need to understand the situation as the number of cases is increasing day-by-day. They have to realise that wearing masks and keeping themselves safe is their duty as a responsible citizen and being violent is not the way if someone questions them when they do not fulfill their duties.