TN artist takes to puppetry to spread awareness on COVID-19

Chennai: Calling out fake news in these desperate times of COVID-19 scare and spreading awareness on the disease have assumed significance more than ever and a veteran puppet artist in Tamil Nadu has chosen the ancient folk art form to do just that.

The three-minute skit debunks false claims such as development of medicine for curing coronavirus and stresses on the importance of staying at home during the ongoing lockdown to check the spread of the deadly infection through the captivating performance using the little puppets.

The man behind the timely and educative play, 62-year old Mu Kalaivanan, a city-based “Bommalattam” (puppet) artist, says people do accept the message if it is shown in a quality and an imaginative way.

MS Education Academy

“It took a whole day for me to develop the setting and the entire voice over, including that of the house wife character, has been given by me,” Kalaivanan told PTI.

He took up the project on a request from a Non-Government Organisation (NGO) which wanted to create awareness on the coronavirus pandemic across ages.

The skit, whose plot revolves around a family of four, parents and two children and set in the present scenario of national lockdown, has been videographed and uploaded on social media platforms to ensure it reaches maximum audience.

Kalaivanan hails from a family of artists and his father Muthu Koothan was a lyricist and had penned many songs for matine idol-turned politician M G Ramachandran’s films.

Having performed over 6,700 puppet shows since 1976 when he took it up as a career, the man now teaches the nuances of the art form to those interested, besides conducting similar awareness events.

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