Who: Five year old Amit, a street urchin from Dharamshala
What: Amit, a street urchin donning a mask, reminds educated and well-to-do people to wear a mask. While he himself is just a five year old who is bare feet and dressed in ragged clothes.
Why: From an impoverished background little Amit doesn’t forget the COVID-19 protocol of wearing a mask. He harbors dreams of becoming a policeman and reminds people, like the police, to wear a mask.
COVID-19 pandemic is believed to be the worst pandemic that has affected the country after almost 100 years. The combined case tally of COVID-19 cases reported in India since the pandemic began has been more than 40 million. According to the World Health Organization the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 is because of “the virus that spreads mainly between people who are in close contact with each other, for example at a conversational distance.” Covid-19 is a highly contagious disease which became a serious global health concern. Due to this the Indian government spent big money to spread awareness about the virus and the precautions people need to take. Data reveals that the five top state governments and the central government have spent approximately Rs 165 crore on Covid-19 advertisements across mainstream media from March 2020 to June 2021.
Despite the repeated directions issued by the authorities and the administration, people have been seeing crowding public places and COVID-19 norms are regularly flouted. The disease has had adverse effects on the economy, as well as on many aspects of human lives like employment, education, physical and mental health of individuals, etc. and the impact has been experienced by people across the nation, first hand. Yet some people don’t take COVID-19 protocols seriously.
Five Year Old Corona Warrior
The catastrophic second wave ebbed in July 2021. India was still grappling with its aftereffects when tourists made a beeline to hill stations like Dharamshala. Not only did the tourists overcrowd the city, they showed blatant disregard for COVID-19 protocols as well. This is when a video clip of a little boy went viral. He was wearing a mask and holding a baton in his hand requesting people to wear a mask. What was interesting was that this little boy was from the streets, he was himself dressed in ragged clothes and did not even have any footwear. People either just smiled or walked by without paying much attention to him, but he persisted and continued reminding them about the mask. The clip went viral on social media and netizens hailed the “little corona warrior” with thousands of retweets, views and comments. The video also sparked outrage and renewed peoples commitment towards COVID-19 protocols. The video was posted on Instagram by @dharmshalalocal – a company which arranges treks in Himachal.
The boy in the video is five year old Amit from Dharamshala. His parents sell balloons and the family lives on the streets. Amit is inspired by the police and wants to grow up and become a policeman. When he saw the police checking people and telling them to wear masks, Amit got motivated and started doing the same. The shopkeeper nearby told him to hold a stick, just like the police, while he checked people for masks.
Support From Local Citizens And Police
The video went viral and the Mcleodganj Police reached Bhagsu Nag, where the video was shot, to meet Amit. They made him their mascot. People from the civil society, a few NGOs and Companies gave him some snacks, goodies and bought him socks and shoes etc. Abhay from DharamshalaLocal told OnlyMyHealth.com that his company is trying to get Amit and his three brothers enrolled in a school, but are finding it difficult as the family doesn’t have any address and it is difficult to locate them most of the time since they keep moving around in Dharamshala and Mcleodganj.
If Amit’s efforts during this pandemic have inspired or moved you, do cast your vote for him. Here is how you can vote for your favorite nominee for Jagran New Media & OnlyMyHealth HealthCare Heroes Awards 2022.