Lucknow: The Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh has launched a contest, asking people to come up with unique suggestions on how to prevent Covid.
Advertisements related to the contest were published Monday by the state health department in all major newspapers in the state.
The advertisements stated the contest would be held under two categories.
In the first category, one has to submit suggestions or models in 150 words about how to break the Covid transmission chain. Ten most “original and innovative” suggestions or models will be awarded a cash prize of Rs 10,000 each.
In the second category, participants have to submit a one-minute video on topics, including Covid prevention, safety practices to be adopted while being out, measures to keep physical and mental health in check and inspiring stories about recovery from Covid. The best 100 entries in this category will also be awarded Rs 10,000 each.
While selecting videos for the cash awards, their presentation, content, entertainment value and technical quality will be taken into account, according to the advertisements. Participation in the contest is free. An email ID and a WhatsApp number has also been issued where the participants can send their entries.
The last date for sending entries is 8 July and the names of the winners will be declared on 15 July.
Idea is to defeat Covid with people’s help
UP’s principal secretary (health) Amit Mohan Prasad said the main objective behind the contest is to defeat the pandemic with help from the common people.
“We are encouraging people to make videos about coronavirus. One-minute videos have been invited from the public on various issues, including prevention for coronavirus, awareness, and ways to break the chain of infection. Selected entries will be given a cash award,” he said.
“We will work further on the basis of fresh ideas received from the public,” he added.
Govt wasting time of common people: Opposition
The opposition parties have, however, questioned the move.
Senior Samajwadi Party leader and its spokesperson Juhi Singh said this is not the time to come up with such ideas.
“The number of coronavirus cases is constantly rising. The government has already been making tall claims about breaking the coronavirus transmission chain, then why is it now misusing government’s money by putting out such advertisements,” she asked.
“On one hand, the number of tests is coming down and on the other, the actual spread of the virus is being suppressed even by the chief minister. We are also in the dark about the actual death rate due to Covid. In such a situation, what is the purpose and rationale for holding such a competition? Instead of diverting children’s attention by issuing advertisements of such competitions, the government should pay more attention on how they will be able to receive further education,” Singh told ThePrint.
Congress MLC Deepak Singh said the state government is wasting the time of common people.
“If it is indeed concerned about the welfare of the people, then they should be informed about correct figures of coronavirus cases and more testing should be done,” he said.
Singh added there is no coordination among officials in the government on how to deal with the Covid crisis. “It is a government led by people who believe in crazy ideas like clapping and banging plates to beat Covid. They have absolutely no idea about how to tackle this pandemic,” he said.
As of Monday, Uttar Pradesh has a total of 22,147 Covid cases, which include 6,679 active cases and 660 deaths.
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